Simon Munnery’s latest show, The Wreath, feels like a sanctuary in the Fringe. He begins with a joke that he's been particularly fond of for a while: "I went to a funeral the other day. Caught the wreath." What follows is an array of philosphically and poetically varied anecdotes and musings.
A recent stint of employment as a cleaner at an egg hatchery provides inspiration for a large chunk of the show. Talking about the industry's horrors, Munnery still somehow manages to find a certain beauty in it. He focuses on the minutiae of the given situation, which in itself is strangely calming, and builds a detailed picture of a day-in-the-life seemingly effortlessly. His audience is able to forget about the horrors and focus on the beauty of more mundane and harmless things.
The particular mundane activity in question, this safe haven that Munnery invites his audience into, is the activity of cleaning. That’s right: hoovering, mopping and scrubbing. It’s surprising and intriguing that anecdotes about buying extension cables and emptying sanitary bins could be so enjoyable to listen to. But it’s Munnery’s clear personal and comic perspective that enables him to pull off this unusual subject matter.
The Wreath is gently paced, occasionally silly and doesn’t shy away from the occasional one liner. It’s got heart, as well as just the right amount of whimsy to make this hour a triumph in delicious escapism.