Two exciting new shows for the new year

Showtime from the Frontline

In 2018 Mark takes his recent attempt to set up a comedy club in a refugee camp in Palestine and turns it into a performance with two of the aspiring Palestinian comics, Fasial and Alaa. Showtime From The Frontline is the story of trying to be yourself in a place where everyone wants to put you in a box. It’s funny and surprising and it’s not like anything else you’ll see this year. Directed by Red Shed’s Joe Douglas, the tour starts in February.

Image © Lesley Martin 2017
Image © Lesley Martin 2017

With Faisal Abu Alhayjaa and Alaa Shehada  | Directed by Joe Douglas

Dodging cultural and literal bullets, Israeli incursions and religion, Mark Thomas and his team set out to run a comedy club for two nights in the Palestinian city of Jenin. Only to find it’s not so simple to celebrate freedom of speech in a place with so little freedom.

Jenin refugee camp, home to Jenin Freedom Theatre and to people with a wealth of stories to tell. Mark tells this story alongside two of its actors and aspiring comics Faisal Abu Alhayjaa and Alaa Shehada. A story about being yourself in a place that wants to put you in a box.

OurNHS@ 70

is an analysis – and celebration – of the NHS as it turns 70. Directed by Nick Kent, former artistic director at the Tricycle Theatre and director of Guantanamo and The Colour of Justice about the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, the show will premiere in Edinburgh in August. Beforehand, as part of the show, Mark is conducting a number of public interviews with key individuals. The first will be on 11th Dec at Battersea Arts Centre, London where Mark will be interviewing Sir Michael Marmot, author of Fair Society, Healthy Lives on health, wealth and why some people are doomed to live shorter lives. Tickets are £2.50.

 

New Badgers

Badgers?  Did I say Badgers?  I meant Badges, sorry.

Anyway we have some new ones (Badges, that is, it was too difficult to get the badgers into a jiffy bag and the RSPCA were staring at us).

In the store we have a couple of new ones that look a little like this:

 

The badges ( in the Daily mail masthead font) are another part of our Daily Mail assault, mimicking the ‘enemy of the people’ headline and the ‘Now finish off the saboteurs’ headline, we celebrate our opposition by reclaiming these glorious titles.

And anyway Badgers hate the Daily Mail as much as we do…

We have a new book

Mark’s new book is published soon – it’s an expanded collection of his play scripts with extra commentary published this week.  We will be getting stock in the next couple of days and be shipping them out at the end of the week.

About a tenner, £7.99 plus postage – Enjoy!

There is a battle of narratives. The working-class narrative is being erased. And as you erase that narrative, you erase truths with it.’

Funny, provocative and moving, The Liar’s Quartet includes the scripts with brand new commentary from Mark Thomas’ most acclaimed comic, political theatre. Layered with political insight (and insult), and peppered with anecdote, this is a bravura performance in its own right. Each multi-award winning show examines Thomas’ obsession with the bonds that bind us, those of family, friends and communities.

Beginning with Bravo Figaro!, Mark puts on an opera in his dying father’s living room (with the help of Royal Opera House singers) to explore their relationship. In Cuckooed, he unpicks the betrayal of a friend and a fellow activist who was in fact employed to spy for the UK’s biggest arms company, BAE systems. And in The Red Shed, Mark returns to his political roots to harness the power of collective memory and celebrate the importance of working-class struggles and narratives in a story he describes as ‘a topical tale about the miners’ strike’.

Laughter, anger and connection. Mark Thomas is more essential than ever . . .

New show for 2017

Predictable

Few predicted the events of the past year.

Mark sets out to find what the future has in store for us by asking the audience what their predictions for the future are, creating a fantastical, hilarious and sometimes accurate vision of the world.

This show is all about gambling on the future.

Based along the lines of his 2011 show ‘Manifesto’ Mark takes suggestions from the audience to create a snapshot of the future.

The early “work in progress” version of the show is already booked in at the usual venues through July 2017 and all are already on the gigs page here.

Spring tour dates and “The Red Shed” script

Mark Thomas outside The Red Shed in Wakefield
Photo by Tracey Moberly

Just in – new tour dates for spring 2017 including a week at Battersea Arts and dates around the UK including Scotland, Salford, Sheffield, Newcastle, Taunton and many more – the full listing are found on the gig list.  Plus we have stocks of the programme/script for Mark’s latest show, “The Red Shed” in Mark’s online store. In the store you will also find Domestic Extremist tea towels and aprons and now you can get a matching T-shirt from our friends at Philosophy Football.

Back by popular demand – “Mind the Farage” Stickers

Farage stickers back in stock

We have some more (about 100, be quick!) lovely vinyl “Mind the Farage” stickers back in stock ready for your wheelie bins or any other creative use you can come up with for them. £2 a pop or £5 for a pack of three. Come and get’em!

As Farage “man of mystery” has stepped down (again) as UKIP party team captain but oddly hasn’t stepped down as an MEP even though he want’s nothing to do with Europe – maybe he needs the expenses, then he has more time on his hands, perhaps he could replace his second job with that of wheelie bin cleaner?

Also, Mark’s new show “Red Shed” is at the Edinburgh Fringe soon and dates are currently going up for an extended nationwide tour in the Autumn. All dates should be up by the end of this week.

Get_your_lovely_bin_stickers_here_Mind_the_Farage__httpwww.jefftest.co.uksection_store

To my Green Party friends: In the London Mayoral election your second preference counts.

To my Green Party friends: In the London Mayoral election your second preference counts.
As a supporter of the Green Party and Sian Berry I will obviously be voting for Sian as my first preference on Thursday but the question of second preference has become incredibly important in the outcome of this election.
I have publicly condemned New Labour for decades but I am voting Sadiq Khan as my second preference and I am asking my fellow Greens to do the same.
The reason for this seeming turnaround is simple: we can not allow Zac Goldsmith’s campaign that has played with race and bigotry to win.
Goldsmith’s campaigned has smeared Khan as linked with Muslim extremists and in doing so has not only pissed in the waters of public debate but has stoked fears and bigotry of the Muslim community.
Goldsmith’s article in the Mail on Sunday , yet again pointing the finger and shouting friend of the jihadist, was accompanied by a picture of the blown up bus from the 7/7 bombings as if claiming Khan was somehow in league with terrorists!
In Parliament Cameron claimed Khan to be linked to an Islamic State supporter Mr Gani, the fact that Gani turned out to be a Tory supporter shows Tory desperation but does not alter the focus of the race based smear campaign.
And not forgetting Goldsmith’s leaflets cak handedly targeting the Indian community claiming Khan was against them.
Time and time again Goldsmith dabbles with race and violence to paint Khan as ‘not like us’ , playing on prejudices about Muslims and fears of terrorism.
London is the most diverse city in the UK and if Goldsmith wins he will have won on a racist campaign.
We can not allow that to happen.
If the Green Party does not stand for social justice alongside the environment then it stands for nothing.
So I am asking friends and comrades to put Khan as their 2nd Preference.
See you out there Thursday and good luck to Sian!