Unofficially, the Houses of Parliament plays host to comedy every day, with its corridors full of bungling MPs and the Punch and Judy of Prime Minister's Questions.
The event has been organised by MP for Medway, Bob Marshall-Andrews, following his shock at Israel's military attacks on the Gaza Strip last year. His interest in the conflict led him to Dembina's show.
This Is Not... tells the story of how Dembina, 58, had his own unconditional support for the Jewish state challenged when he visited Israel and the West Bank between 2003 and 2005, and the hostility he faced from friends and family for his views.
Marshall-Andrews hopes Dembina's quietly affecting (and very funny) hour will bring him support in his stance against Israeli aggression. "It's a comedy show and is there to entertain, but it's also unapologetic in having an agenda," says Dembina. "I always hope the public leave my show knowing more about the situation, at least realising that not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic or that all Arabs are terrorists. If I can influence the country's legislators as well, then great."
"The lovely thing about comedy is that it works best when you leave the audience a bit of room to make their own connections, rather than being polemical. In that sense politics and comedy are very similar."
Phoenix Artist Club, London WC2 (Think beforeyoulaugh.com) 20 & 27 MarchReuse content