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The "Domestic Extremist" Is Back With New Stand-Up Show
He has apparently been called many things in his comedy career, not least a 'domestic extremist' by the police because of his political activism. But Mark Thomas is very much the People's Comic as he sets out to challenge the establishment at every turn.
The past winner of the Edinburgh Fringe Award shows no sign of compromising his principles as he takes part in his latest UK tour with his brand new show, Trespass. Mark, who appeared at the Lichfield Garrick theatre on Saturday 19 March, continues to support worthy causes while railing against the greedy and the powerful.
The talented stand-up comedian, who also gained an Amnesty International 'Freedom of Expression Award in 2014, does not take long to have a rant against the likes of Virgin boss Richard Branson while also declaring that he wants to take the railways back out of private hands.
He also directs a great deal of ire at Chancellor George Osborne in the week of his latest Budget, and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt - "the only man in the country unaware that A&E is open 24 hours a day". Members of the audience are invited to pick up a free bakers union badge during the interval and, in return, they are asked to donate to Refugees Welcome to aid those people fleeing Syria.
Mark Thomas addresses a London rally in 2011 (credit Wikipedia)
Mark's new show, Trespass, carries on from his previous stand-up offering which was entitled 100 Acts of Minor Dissent. As the name suggests, he challenged himself to commit lesser transgressions that were not likely to get him into too much trouble. Having asked the audience to shout out numbers up to a hundred, Mark reveals the corresponding 'acts of minor dissent' ranging from trying to get himself banned from a major supermarket chain to committing the apparent still current crime of imagining the end of the British monarchy. He also reveals that he once hung a painting by his five-year-old son in the Tate Gallery.
Mark says he was once subjected to a stop-and-search by police for 'appearing overconfident'. While he may not be guilty of that particular crime there is no doubt that he is a supreme stand-up performer who would certainly be much more feted if not for his political stance. But then, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't want that anyway.
Lichfield Garrick expects more comedy fans for Arthur Smith
Comedy lovers are in for a further treat at the Lichfield Garrick during March when alternative comedian and writer Arthur Smith appears on Friday 25 March with his new show, At Your Service. For ticket information call the box office on 01543 412121 or view online.
Future tour dates
April 16 The Witham Arts Centre, Barnard Castle 0844 884 2920 April 19-20 North Wall Arts, Oxford 01865 319450
April 21 Northern Stage, Newcastle 0191 230 5151
April 22 Playhouse Theatre, Liverpool 0151 709 4776
April 23 Discovery Centre, Winchester 01962 873603