EDINBURGH FESTIVAL '98: Comedy: Fun with fascists

THE LEAGUE AGAINST TEDIUM THE PLEASANCE
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The Independent Culture
FOR AGES, Simon Munnery has been wandering in a comedy wilderness, seemingly unable to capitalise on the early Nineties' success of Alan Parker Urban Warrior by finding a suitable vehicle for his talents. With The League Against Tedium, he has found a format that accommodates his aloof, boffin style and opens the door to a wider audience.

Munnery first presented his brand of uberstand-up in a previous project, Kluub Zarathustra, but his misanthropic persona now truly commands attention. This could be because he has been more influenced by Kierkegaard than by Nietzsche this year (he says); a more obvious reason is that he has shed his Zarathustrian lackeys and acquired a slick multi-media package that enables him to project electronic Dada-esque visuals on to a screen using a wired-up glove.

His insults ("Attention scum. You are nothing"), megalomaniac pronouncements ("A thousand years ago, I shat by a river. Thus London") and riddles ("We are all brothers. Hence, war") are timed to a nanosecond. Most comedians try to create intimacy with an audience; Munnery aims at ludicrous autonomy. He can even generate his own applause at the click of a gloved finger, one component he could dispense with. Dominic Cavendish

Runs until 31 August (0131-556 6550)

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