Coming Soon: The campaigning comic returns
Sunday 10 May 2009
Possibly the only comedian to have received both a Sony Award and a Kurdish National Congress Medal of Honour, Mark Thomas (www.markthomasinfo.com) is as renowned for his political activism as he is for his hearty yet acerbic stand-up.
He even revised the name of his Channel 4 series from The Mark Thomas Comedy Product to The Mark Thomas Product, an acknowledgement that cracking jokes had become less of a priority than investigating the arms trade, campaigning to change drug laws, and inciting his crusty followers to harass every fat cat they could find. If only we'd listened to him. With the world in the mess it's in, Thomas now seems less like a tubthumping troublemaker and more like the voice of reason.
On his new tour, entitled It's the Stupid Economy!, he'll be asking the audience for ideas of how to make Britain a better place, and then incorporating the best suggestions into a People's Manifesto. It's the kind of gimmick which isn't uncommon in comedy shows these days, but with Thomas there's a difference: he'll attempt to turn the manifesto's proposals into a reality. And judging by his track record, there's a chance he might succeed. Thomas appears tonight at the Hull Truck Theatre (01482 325012), and he's touring until he gets to Berwick-upon-Tweed's Maltings Theatre (01289 330999) on 16 July.
For some comedy that's less likely to address the state of planet than the state of another planet in some distant galaxy, there's the wondrous Bill Bailey (www.billbailey.co.uk). In June he's in Manchester, Salford and Dublin, before hitting Nottingham in July, and Plymouth, Oxford, Glasgow and Bristol in August. And if you can forgive him for that rubbish Comic Relief single, you can see Rob Brydon at London's Apollo Theatre (0870 890 1101) from 11 to 23 May. Brydon – who was recently confirmed as one of the new hosts of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue – is finishing his first tour as himself, ie, not in character as Marion & Geoff's hapless Keith. But why see one comedian when you can see 62 of them? The Kilkenny Comedy Festival – or as they insist on calling it, the Carlsberg Cat Laughs Festival (00 353 56 7763 837) – runs from 28 May to 1 June. The Cat's got the cream of comic talent, including Lee Mack, Ross Noble and Rich Hall.
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 3 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Avengers: Age of Ultron set to make box office history with $84.5m US opening
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
The highly NSFW poster for Gaspar Noé's Love makes Nymphomaniac look like 50 Shades
New on Netflix UK May 2015: From Fast & Furious 6 to World War Z and Grace and Frankie
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds