Thursday, 8 August 2013

Mark Thomas: 100 Acts Of Minor Dissent

Comedians have, for a long time now, been smart, informed individuals who find a way to deliver bad news to audiences while also making them laugh at the absurdity of the world around us. Mark Thomas is smarter and more informed than most, and I've had the pleasure of being familiar with his work for many years (I first experienced his mind-expanding blend of comedy and social issues when he was on TV with The Mark Thomas Comedy Product).

For anyone reading the subtitle and worrying about Mr. Thomas slowing down from his more passionate, more active days, then stop worrying right now. Although the show is entitled "100 Acts Of Minor Dissent" there is nothing minor about the show itself and the ideology and progressive thinking put forward is just as impressive as it ever has been. It's all about knowing your rights, doing what you can to help independent businesses and business owners and engaging in any activities that could lead to positive change for communities all around the country.

I digress. Wait, no I don't. You can't discuss any comedy involving Mark Thomas without discussing the causes he has aligned himself with over the years. I still have such fond memories of him educating schoolchildren about the sweatshops that helped make many of their trainers before getting the number of a CEO (the company was either Nike or Adidas, I think) and allowing all of the kids to call up and leave a message on the guy's answering machine. Or the appeal for people to make their own movies on CCTV and claim their own footage back (I believe it may cost a small fee, but IS always available to you under the Data Protection Act). And much more.

As well as being a bloody funny guy, Mark Thomas has been a personal hero of mine for well over a decade. Seeing him live, at long last, was like ticking something off my 'bucket list', albeit a bucket list full of small and safe things I kinda hope to do in my life as opposed to skydiving and shit. Yes, I admit that I felt a small amount of regret that this was an older and slightly mellower man that I was seeing. I wondered if that rage would still appear, if the audience would be fired up as they seemed to be when I'd seen Thomas on TV in the past.

Perhaps he has mellowed slightly, but perhaps not. Yes, there is certainly a gentler, safer and more entertaining coating to the anarchy he now encourages (I REALLY want to have a go at book heckling . . . . . . . you'll either know what I'm on about or you can feel free to ask). But if you think this is a man who no longer gets angry as he used to, just wait until you hear him explain the reasoning behind and/or complain about OAPs wearing designer trainers.

This man hasn't mellowed, he's just managed to find better ways to sugarcoat the pill over the years. I just hope that more people allow themselves to both enjoy what Mark Thomas offers up, and also think about it long after this one-hour show is over.


The main Mark Thomas website is here.

Buy tickets for the show here, you won't regret it.


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