FRINGE PREVIEW – Mark Thomas: Extreme Rambling (Walking The Wall)

Mark Thomas: Extreme Rambling (Walking The Wall)

Mark Thomas: Extreme Rambling (Walking The Wall)

Comedian and activist Mark Thomas is renowned for going where other comics fear to tread. Literally, in this case, as we hear about the show he’s bringing to Edinburgh this year:

Tell us a little bit about your show – where’s it happening, what’s it about, why should people come to see it?

The show is called Extreme Rambling – Walking the Wall. It is on at the Bongo club from the 8-20 August (not 16th).

In 2010 I attempted to walk the entire length of the Israeli barrier on the West Bank, walking on both sides and talking to Israelis and Palestinians. The show is the story of that walk.

The show had over 120 performances in the UK. It was the first comedy show to be booked for a two hour slot on the Glastonbury main Cabaret Stage and ended up with 2000 festival goers giving it a standing ovation. It is booked in to be performed in a synagogue with a Q&A afterwards and is going to be performed for the UN.

I think the show has the chops.

What are you most looking forward to about coming back to Edinburgh?

The chance to see lots of other shows and performers, the festival is bloody brilliant- if you are any kind of creative artist this is the best busman’s holiday ever!

What’s been your favourite / funniest Edinburgh Fringe experience so far ?

One of my favourite memories of Edinburgh festival was with Linda Smith – years ago before the change in licensing laws, Linda, her partner Warren, and I decided to go drinking for 24 hours. I don’t know at what point in the evening we decided on our challenge, but we did. We ended up at Leith docks waiting for the pub to open to serve the night shift who were just about to finish work. Now, Linda could drink. In fact she could, in a very classy manner, put anyone under the table, with the exception of street drinkers. So we sat outside the pub on the doorstep waiting for it to open, watching the grey morning sky.. A milk float went past doing the rounds, the milkman got out of the drivers cab, took one look at us and approached holding out three pints of milk.

‘Thanks ‘ we muttered and I went to get some change out of my pocket, ‘your alright son’ said the milk man rejecting the money, ‘ you look like you need it.’

I don’t drink any more and of course needless to say neither does Linda, but I am very fond of that memory.

If money was no object, what publicity stunt would you do to promote your show?

Er I reckon walking the length of the Israeli barrier has it’s own in-built PR factor.

Who else are you planning or hoping to see?

Wil Hodgson, Josie Long, Russell Kane, Tiernan Douieb and if he is up Jonnie Marbles…. Oh and Lou Sanders, plus loads of theatre and performance art and and and as much stuff as I can.

What do you have planned for after the Fringe?

Cycling from London to Paris to raise money for medical charity IMET 2000 – they train doctors and nurses in the poorest parts of the world to the highest international standards. So poorest places get best doctors, bloody marvellous.
They work from Senegal to Gaza.

(Here’s a link to Mark’s Just Giving page for the challenge)

Sum up your show in three words for us:

OK I have done enough of your work for you, go and review some stuff and write it up you lazy £$^%$£%!

You can hear Mark’s experiences of Walking The Wall at The Bongo Club from 8-20 Aug (not 16) at 19:30. More details are on the Fringe website

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