UPCOMING GIGS(see all)
Sheffield, The Leadmill
(Website) (map) - The final 100 Acts show will last between 4-5 hours and Mark will be providing some form of refreshments for the audience - NOTE: 6 pm START
Mark has answered some commonly recurring questions in the new "Frequently Answered Questions" section on the FAQ page.
Bravo Figaro recording released!
Mark's award winning show Bravo Figaro is at last released on CD. The show, recorded at the Royal Opera House for BBC Radio 4, was first broadcast on the 1st April 2013 and is available through our merchandise store or at Mark's shows. Cost is £6 plus £1.50 p & p.
The ATOS questionnaire
If you have been unfortunate enough to have taken part in an ATOS work capability assessment and had a bad experience then now it's time to "assess the assessors" with your own response: http://t.co/fc8sEjv7KB
The final 100 Acts Gig!
TICKETS FOR FINAL 100 ACTS GIG ON SALE ON MONDAY 2nd Dec
The final ( and only) show will see Mark listing all 100 Acts of Minor Dissent on the 15th May 2014 at The Leadmill in Sheffield. There will be only 1 show. Ever.
The show will last between 4-5 hours and Mark will provide some form of refreshment during the evening.
UNFORTUNATELY IT IS ALREADY SOLD OUT!!
See you there. X
Frolics in the park
One year after the Olympics the Royal Parks are charging people to play sport in parts of Hyde Park, using a private company Will to Win. On the 8th of August I was fortunate enough to hook up with the London Charity Softball League and ran the worlds first ever What's the Time Mr Wolf Championship without Will to Win coming out to demand payment.
The softballers are challenging the Minister for the Department of Media Culture and Sport Maria Miller MP in the courts over the legality of the charges. Meanwhile it is time for another championship… Stuck in the Mud.
You are all invited to come and play. Sign up to play! http://stuckinthemud-MTW.eventbrite.com
This is the pic from the finalists of What's the Time Mr Wolf:
The NEW show - 100 Acts Of Minor Dissent
Mark's new show, "100 Acts Of Minor Dissent" is now touring. It's a load of fun. Mark has committed to doing 100 act of minor dissent in the coming year and he's about 20% done. There will be lots of mayhem ensuing!
PS also see here: http://www.wewilldrivethemtotheairport.co.uk
An act of Dissent for you
On 03 June 2013 a flashmob was organised at the Regents Street Apple store, videos below and the pages that the browsers in the store were pointed at is here. You can always go do your own protest at any apple store by pointing their browsers there.
A "Thank You"
During the Bravo Figaro tour the Brewhouse in Taunton had its funding completely cut by Somerset County Council(Wednesday night) and went into receivership the next morning (Thursday), I was due to perform at the Brewhouse on the Friday. With no venue and no likelihood of tickets being refunded for the show I announced on twitter that I would try and find another venue, though at such short notice did not anticipate I would be able to do so. In stepped Junction 24 , an auction house and conference centre who offered to stage the gig and anyone with a ticket (including those who had not managed to pick their tickets up from the Brewhouse box office) got to see the show.
I have never done a gig in a cattle auction house before nor indeed had an auction ring as the backstage area but it all added to the impromptu adventure. Thanks is due to the hard work and generous spirit of the Junction 24 team , especially Patch.
"Here it is! After requests for the music played at the start of the show here is the playlist. This is a personal compilation culled from some favourites in my collection. Enjoy!
Rollin' Danny - Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps
That's it man - The Valentines
Fujiyama Mama - Wanda Jackson
Psychedelic Train - Derrick Harriott and the Chosen Few
Mr Pharmacist - The Other Half
Lament 1 " Bird's Lament" Moondog
Jungle Rock - Hank Mizell
Boom Sacka Lacka - Hopeton Lewis and the Chosen Few
$ F--Oldin' Money $ - Tommy Blake
Rumble - Link Wray
Isralites - Desmond Dekker
Psychotic Reaction - Positively Thirteen O Clock
Know your Product - The Band Who Knew Too Much
Funnel of Love - Wanda Jackson
Ubangi Stomp - Warren Smith
That's the Bag - Fabs
Gibble Gobble - Willie Wright and his Sparklers
Radar - Link Wray
New - Bravo Figaro Programmme and Play Script For Sale
For the first time Mark has produced a full programme and script for the latest show and you can buy it right here in the Merchandise Shop.
What people are saying about Bravo Figaro!
Bravo Figaro! Tour
Here's a short video of Mark talking about Bravo Figaro! interview recorded by Too Tall Too Small Productions- sound by Paul Thorp, Camera and interview by Gabi Herrett.
Bravo Figaro! is Mark's new show and already picked up two awards at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2012, a Fringe First award recognising outstanding new theatre work and a Herald Angel award for performance. Here's Mark with his awards at the Traverse Theatre- with thanks to the helpful box office staffer who took the pic.
Bravo Figaro! is in London from the 10th September to the 6th October at the Tricycle Theatre and then touring the UK. Details of dates and venues are on the full gig details page.
Comedian Mark Thomas: why I wrote a show about my dad
As a teenager working on my dad's building sites, I used to cringe when he blasted opera out to the workers. Now I've written a show about him – in all his grumpy glory
Ten years ago, my dad, Colin Alec Todd Thomas, was diagnosed with a disease called progressive supranuclear palsy, a degenerative and incurable condition that is often misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis. He is now nearly blind, can't walk, can barely talk, can't swallow properly, has diabetes and dementia, and last week my mum, his carer, was told she could add gout to the list. It is likely he will die of hypostatic pneumonia. Frankly, he was a grumpy bastard to begin with and none of this has improved his mood.
I have responded to witnessing this cruel slide downwards with the appropriate dignity, and written a show about it for the Edinburgh festival. Bravo Figaro! is about my dad, me, love, death and opera. It came about as the result of a series of coincidences. I was the first ever guest on Radio 4's Saturday Live Inheritance Tracks slot, talking about music that reminds me of my family. This led to Mike Figgis commissioning me to write a show for a festival he was curating for the Royal Opera House; and this became the starting point for Bravo Figaro!, which, after many rewrites, now appears at the Traverse theatre.
But the larger story of how Bravo Figaro! came about started one Friday night 24 years ago, when Ben Elton introduced me to a live TV studio audience. Sweaty with fear, I stared at the crowd – then, mangling vowels in a youthful mockney accent, indignantly shouted one word: "What!" I paused, waited, rode out a few titters then, glowering into the darkness, continued: "Are they talking about …" I paused again, held it, made the wait significant, then bellowed incredulously, "… in opera?"
This was the springboard for a torrent of filth sung fast and furious, a paean to obscenely bad sex, belted out in alternating falsetto and tenor tones, thus reducing an entire artform to a series of grunts, shafts, shags and squelches. Although not the stuff of legend, the routine became my calling card on the comedy circuit, regarded at best as comedic filth with a dash of righteous toff-bashing. Hardly anyone knew that the routine was actually aimed squarely at my dad.
Colin Alec Todd Thomas was a working-class Tory and self-employed builder who discovered a love of opera as an adult and, like many a late convert, his zeal burned brightly. On Sunday mornings, our neighbours were blasted with Rossini and Verdi played at such volume that even now I have an impulse to apologise. He would take a cassette player to work, playing his favourite operas across the rooftops and building sites of south London, singing along at the top of his voice. It was excruciating. As a teenager working alongside him, I would cringe in embarrassment; I was avenged when I spat and sang my obscene parody of his beloved opera on national telly.
My father was born in the wrong century: he wanted a world where men were masters, women were quiet and children had rickets. When he said, "They should bring back the death penalty and if no one else will do it, I'll throw the switch," not only did he mean it, he would also have brought his own jump-leads and a car battery as back-up. Unsurprisingly, he was frequently the focus of my early routines.
Over time, my shows became increasingly political and theatrical, and over that same period he became just slightly more tolerant. As the well of material he provided dried up, so did my desire to draw from it. It was not my intention to return to my family as source material again. We had reached a kind of agreeable stand-off. I went off and did exposés on arms dealers and expounded the virtues of the right to protest and, in return, he stopped wincing every time a lesbian character appeared on TV.
Colin Alec Todd Thomas now sits in the corner of a room with his eyes shut, shaking, sweating and unable to remember what he had for lunch. I'm drawn to opera, the artform he loved, in an effort to reach out to him before he vanishes. So the decision to do Bravo Figaro! was more instinctive than rational; but, with so personal a story, it raised the question of how to represent him on stage. Should I treat him differently this time round because his time with us is short? Well, yes and no. Once again, my dad is resolutely lambasted as there seems no point in telling so private a tale without being truthful. And, to be honest, the stories of him being a bastard are comedy gold.
It is not all one-sided: my dad does get to speak for himself, as audio interviews with him and my mum have been woven into the script. But there is one significant change in the way I represent my dad this time around, 24 years after that torrent of filth: now, the image of him standing on scaffolding, singing opera across the rooftops of south London, is the one I cherish most.
New paperback version of "Extreme Rambling"
The new paperback format is out now. Hurrah and hooray!
Manifesto - The App!
The Manifesto IOS App for the iPhone is now available here (Don't worry Android/Windows phone users, we'll have a version for you too soon).
The app has three main sections. A manifesto policy browser containing a selection of the winning manifesto policies from Mark's shows over the last 2 years, an implementation of one specific manifesto idea and a handy stop and search card that you can have with you at all times in case of need. It's IOS 5.0 only we're afraid as we followed a development path that excluded earlier versions of IOS. If we get time we will re-write it for older versions.
The manifesto policy that has been implemented is the idea to change the word "devil" in the bible with the word "Bagpuss". There are a selection of quotations (which you can add to and amend) and a selection of substitution words that you can also add to and amend and switch on and off. It's good fun and the results can be very amusing. Get creative and send us your custom results so we can have a laugh too.
There will be a DVD of Extreme Rambling coming out soon.
Here is a wee photo gallery from the 2011 tour and another gallery of Mark's ramble in the West Bank. If you have any photos please send them in to email@example.com and we'll add them here.
During 2010 Mark decided to go rambling in the Middle East and walked the entire length of the Israeli Separation Barrier, crossing between the Israeli and the Palestinian side. This is the story of 300 000 settlers, a 750 km wall, six arrests, one stoning, too much humuus and one simple question...
Can you ever get away from it all with a good walk?
Extreme Rambling has been performed across the UK, from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland to the Cornish seaside of St Ives. It cropped up at the Glastonbury festival (the first time a two hour set had been performed on the comedy stage), sold out a months run at the Tricycle Theatre, was performed as a benefit for Rabbis for Human Rights at the North Western Reform Synagogue and was nominated for the Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award, the first time a comic has been nominated for the award.
There are some videos of Mark explaining why he decided to go rambling in the West Bank on the Audio/Video page.
Read the article about Mark's ramble in the West Bank in the Guardian by clicking here.
The more keen eyed amongst you will notice the War on Want, FBU and Fairtrade Foundation logos on the poster, this is because they have helped with the project to 'walk the wall.' However, special thanks goes to the Metropolitan Police who, as some of you might know, paid compensation when they wrongfully stopped and searched me. Half of the money awarded in compensation was given to the Miscarriages of Justice Organisation that campaigns for the release and treatment of those wrongfully imprisoned. The other half was used to fund the walk, it is therefore only fitting that I thank the Metropolitan Police for their financial assistance.
***** “Moving and inspiring… as gripping as any live performance you will see” THE GUARDIAN
“… A brilliant investigative journalist disguised as a comedian…very funny indeed" DAILY TELEGRAPH
Welcome and thanks for visiting!
Here you can find out what Mark is up to, his current work and campaigns, tour dates, appearances and assorted general mitherings.
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