I was lucky enough to see Mark Thomas perform live last night. For those who haven’t heard of Mark, he is part investigative journalist, part comedian and part campaigner.
Mark’s research and knowledge on things he investigates upon is tremendous. For example, the SOCPA legislation which includes provisions to prevents demonstration near Parliament without a license – a crazy law that was passed ostensibly to help protect parliament from terrorism, like a terrorist would worry about small legal issues as that. The definition of demonstration means that for one or more people to demonstrate about anything requires a license to be issued by the Police. So Mark, related how he addressed this organising individual demonstrations on subjects like ‘the decline of surrealism’ and going as far as arranging for several hundred people to demonstrate together, all demonstrating for their own thing on the same day – creating hilarious results. For more about this see Mark’s website here.
Then there is the question is celebrating Guy Fawkes night, actually an act of glorifying terrorism now? If so, how many years will you get sent down for if you wave a sparkler about?
Although these things may not sound very funny, Mark’s humour comes from relating back the characters that he comes across, on his travels and the juxtapositions of some of the situations he finds himself in when investigating or trying to highlight issues.
The tour in part is to help promote his new book about the arms trade and the extent that they will go to circumvent national and international legislation. I got an autographed copy of the book last night and started reading, initial impression is that it is as both entertaining and informative as his live show – so would recommend it, even if you don’t agree with his views.
The Times have a review of an earlier performance in the tour here.