With the comedy boom still, well, booming, it’s only a matter of time before a cocky comedian upscales from arenas to football stadiums. Who will make the leap first? Peter Kay? Eddie Izzard? Michael McIntyre?
Avant-garde comedy god Simon Munnery isn’t exactly the most likely suspect. But the 45-year-old Fringe veteran does have one advantage over his household name colleagues: his show’s already ‘stadium ready’.
Nope, that doesn’t mean ‘Fylm’ is full of pyrotechnics, special effects or costume changes. In fact, Munnery isn’t on stage at all. He’s sat in the audience, with his face projected onto a screen and, of course, that’s all you’re staring at when you attend a stadium gig.
‘The camera amplifies the face the same way the microphone amplifies the voice,’ is Munnery’s theory, and using some lights and a piece of glass he’s able to switch the camera shot between his mug and the table he’s sat at.
Anybody who saw last year’s ‘Fylm-Makker’ will know the format. ‘Fylm’ is effectively a sequel; a new hour of live animations, whimsical non-sequiturs and visual one-liners using Munnery’s technical toy. It’s the cardboard animations with David Shirgley-style drawings that get the biggest laughs, including puppy doctors/astronauts Snifflick and Woffles, a deleted scene from ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and a quick advert for Foster’s.
The format hasn't progressed hugely from last year’s ‘Fylm-Makker’; it’s still far from slick and is a bit of a mish-mash of ideas. But slick isn’t Munnery’s style, and it’s such an inventive concept that it’d be a waste to ditch the kit after one hour-long show. Long may Simon of the Munnerys and his Fylms continue.
See 'Simon Munnery – Fylm' at the Edinburgh Fringe
See Simon Munnery in London
The Knock2Bag team regularly have some of the best comedy bills in London and are always brilliant value. As well as their monthly gig in Shepherd's Bush, Knock2Bag takes over Rich Mix in the East End with more comedy delights. January 31's line-up features Daniel Simonsen, Simon Munnery, Paul McCaffrey, James Veitch and Mae Martin.Read more
Simon Munnery is consistently one of the most innovative comedy talents out there. In this monthly show, he broadcasts his face and live cardboard-based sketches onto a screen on stage and introduces his comedy pals to have a play with his ingenious bit of kit. It's a lot of fun. See the dates below to find who's joining Munnery each month.Read more
Every so often the Show and Tell team take over this beautiful music venue in Shepherd’s Bush with intelligent, all-headline bills featuring some of the most erudite comics in the land. On February 6 you can catch unashamedly posh actor-comedian Miles Jupp, who you might recognise from 'Rev', 'The Thick of It' or, er, 'Balamory'. He's an ace stand-up. Support comes from Simon Munnery, James Acaster and Aisling Bea.Read more
Excellent Tufnell Park comedy club Shambles – which regularly hosts top leftfield line-ups – also churns out a web-series which showcases stand-ups alongside a backstage narrative. Series two is being recorded across these four nights (including double shows on Feb 9 and 12), and tickets are free! The line-ups include Simon Munnery, Pat Cahill, Edward Aczel, Matthew Crosby and many more – check our list of dates for the full bills. Watch episode one of 'Shambles'Read more
Finally! The Laugh Out London team run some of the best comedy nights in north London. Now they're launching their first club south of the river, at Brixton pub the Dogstar. The first line-up, on February 17, is typically impressive, with spots from avant garde comedy stalwart Simon Munnery, Edinburgh Comedy Award-winning Canadian comic Phil Nichol, erudite charmer Nish Kumar, character comic Gabby Best and MC Tom Webb.Read more