Saturday, May 28, 2005

Tuesday Night at the Pleasance Islington

Before I mention the star act I must say something about the venue. The Pleasance Islington should be named the Pleasance Caledonian Road or the Pleasance Lower Holloway. I do admit my two suggestions have a less trendy appeal but are geographically accurate. I would not have made arrangements to meet in Islington had it been named otherwise.

Studying the A to Z over a pint of Guinness in the pub (yes, ok, I could have looked it up before but I’m a busy woman), I realised it was a little bit of a trek. When G. turned up we shared the pint (strange looks – are they poor? Lesbians?) and scoffed a quick, tasty and also very cheap Vietnamese meal in Lower Holloway.

The theatre is tiny – we were snuggled up 9 to a row, 6 rows, on blue fold up banquettes. And didn’t we have fun?! Mark Thomas was no disappointment. The show was hysterical. The subjects of his gags were obvious – the election, Bush, Iraq, asylum seekers, terrorists, protesting but the material was new and Thomas pushed the boundaries. His delivery was spot on. It was one of those occasions when you get to the interval and are shocked that an hour has just whizzed by. The audience was obviously comprised of a certain type of person. I thought of a right-wing friend who sees things very much in black and white who would have been apoplectic watching Thomas. He would have disagreed with so much of what was said and I have no doubt he would have heckled constantly. I’m wondering if I could set it up!

Pat, you would have loved the gag about a performing art evening at the ICA – wonderfully done. Thomas and his mate were escorted from the premises for joining in. The thing that has actually stayed with me is the protesting bit. I have images of myself floating along on a pink inflatable dragon from Toys’R’Us in front of some dodgy ship or another to save the world (well, attempt to stop some evil arms dealers) or chained to railings suffragette-style but then I go cold. Eldest child responsibility syndrome kicks in. I am a teacher. I am a pillar of the community. I could get arrested. I could lose my job. All the excitement disappears. Sigh.


pat said...

an ex-pal of mine (another emma) once had a go at thomas because of his attack on germany and migrant workers. she told him he was lyingand that he had his facts wrong. he was impressed with her and got some information from her. whether it is still part of the routine i don't know.

i can take him or leave him.
but he is much funnier than mark steel.

Shep said...

I remember a story of a friend going up to Mark Thomas in the street and saying to him "Hey, aren't you off The Mark Thomas Comedy Product?"

"Actually it's just The Mark Thomas Product now" says he.

"So what happened to the comedy?" says my friend...