Mark Thomas’ first gag was about hating young people. Sitting in the very front row surrounded by middle-aged couples, the line about detesting juveniles’ ‘hope and orgasms’ I found myself feeling a little uncomfortable. However, during the rest of the show, Mark Thomas managed to provoke a wonderful reaction from the audience, and get every joke bang on.
Thomas’ socialist hour-long comedy act is based around his plans to bring down capitalism, or failing that, to slightly annoy plutocrat activists. He plans 100 acts of minor dissents that began in May of last year and will finish in 2014. If he doesn’t manage to complete 100 of these acts he will donate £1000 to UKIP, a punishment that will surely give him the inspiration he needs.
His act lists some of these, such as standing outside a house for sale on an open day in an expensive part of South London, dressed as a crack addict with a friend in tow glammed up as a hooker in a lonely quest to bring down the housing prices. Telling these stories gained a huge laugh from the audience.
His work really struck a chord with the audience in the dingy basement club. Hailing Salmon Rushdie as a great author and pointing fun at 50 Shades of Grey are only some of the throwaway lines which roused the audience’s approval.
The socialism and feminism underlying Thomas’ set are extraordinarily current topics and although these only pander to a specific audience, I challenge any Farage enthusiast to sit through this and not find it funny. The only criticism I would have is that his performance came across as quite angry, shouting a lot of his lines in a way that was mildly off-putting. Having said that, this ferocity could be conceived as passion for the cause.
It is comforting to imagine that there are ways of making a political statement to the government in such humourous ways. The invitation to buy stickers or ‘The Peoples Manifesto’ (Thomas’ book) at the end of the show and pick up some of Thomas’ tricks was an inviting one.
If you have any affinity to Marx, communism or are just in the mood for a laugh, I would urge you to get down to The Stand Comedy Club and go and see the show. It probably won’t change the world but it’s nice to know someone’s trying.