Mark Thomas at the Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

Mark Thomas
Mark Thomas

Choir appeal for new head

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There’s a truism that every time a performer talks about politics they are unacceptably preaching, unacceptably wrong, or both.

And it’s certainly quite heartwarming to see Bono criticised for flying his hat first class while telling people aircraft are damaging the environment.

But in the case of Mark Thomas, things are a little different.

The idea of the ‘political comedian’ is a standard in the genre, and whether you agree with his views or not, it’s impossible to deny that for his latest show, Thomas has been walking the walk, as well as talking the talk.

Armed only with press accreditation, Mark and a cameraman Phil walked the entire length of the 423 mile barrier the Israeli state has built across (and into) the West Bank.

Contact with Israeli forces and stone-throwing Palestinian activists, and being teargassed with an Israeli mime artiste at a pro-Palestinian demonstration, the show’s title, Extreme Rambling, is an appropriate choice.

It’s hard to imagine anyone in the sold-out Wedgewood Rooms crowd have heard about a martyr giraffe and how to make a ‘mime-clown’ speak, at the same time as serious tales about eight year-olds being stoned by settlers on the way to school, and how to overcome teargas with an onion, anywhere else.