Mark Thomas: A Show That Gambles on the Future – a review

With previous shows focusing on his opera loving Dad, his campaigning days, and those in a Wakefield shed, Mark Thomas has often trawled the past for comic material with an edge. On this occasion, however,

Bouncing off ideas written out by an audience must be a precarious high wire act at the best of times (Thomas sometimes seemed to weary of the curmudgeonly misanthropy coming from some quarters) but for the most part his disarming ability to marshal the rambling theories of the Corn Hall groundlings led to howls of good natured, self-aware laughter. His ability to riff off of the most bizarre of suggestions was unimpeachable (unlike Donald Trump, who came up a lot) while his tangential tales of childhood were humane and touching.

At his best when riding a wave of splenetic rage at the state of the nation, he was funny, but also thought-provoking and heartfelt. Whether you agree with everything he says, there’s no doubting his sincerity, eloquence and generosity of spirit, not least in selflessly sharing out the chips he bought in the interval.

By David Vass