Dusting off his leather jacket, Simon Munnery has picked an intriguing time to temporarily revive his right-on and long-mothballed protest character Alan Parker.
Simon Munnery: Alan Parker Urban Warrior Farewell Tour, The Stand, Edinburgh * * *
When he first emerged in the early Nineties, Parker was a fringe lunatic. Since then though, equality has made significant strides, and activism and agitating have gone more middle-class and mainstream. When he evokes Extinction Rebellion, it’s startling to realise that however briefly, he’s actually relevant and reasonably on-message.
Happily, for the most part, he remains his old, quixotic self, raving against new technology as an instrument of an oppressive state, belting out his radical, nonsensical slogans.
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Underpinned by Munnery’s singularly intelligent wit, these tend to be gnomic masterpieces of self-defeating logic. Belying the character’s isolation and wholly committed stupidity, a routine such as his football terrace chants for favourite supermarkets seems an unlikely endorsement of capitalism. Little matter, though, because it’s a stunning and hilarious bit of songwriting.
An extended piece looking back on his punk band past slightly reduces the momentum of a show which is at its best with Parker barking out non-sequitur calls to resist, their catchiness and anarchic spirit matched only by their delusional wrong-headedness.
Until 26 August