IF you have seen any of Mark Thomas’ shows you will know that they come in a variety of different forms and surrounding a variety of themes.

And this next one – 50 Things About Us – is no different, with a focus on politics and the “divided wasteland” of the UK.

Perfect timing for Mark he believes, especially with the recent general election.

Performing for over 34 years, Mark’s first stand-up comedy gig was in 1985.

He said: “I started with stand-up and loved it. Like everything, part of it was a natural talent and part was something you had to learn.”

He began his career with a focus on comedy, but since then his passion has branched out into storytelling, stand-up, theatre, opera and so much more.

He added: “If you’re coming to see my show because you want to see stand-up, then don’t. Because every show is different, sometimes it is theatrical, sometimes it is storytelling and so on.

“My shows are really varied, because I am interested in doing things in different ways, who wouldn’t be?

“For example, walking the wall in Israel. This took be three months. And out of it came a complex, emotional and political show.

“Bravo Figaro was a show where I staged an opera in my father’s living room, it was about recreating those moments with him.

“I recently did a show about the NHS (called Check-up Our NHS @ 70) where I spent a month in a hospital and did interviews with experts and so on.

“I’ve also done a stand-up comedy night in a refugee camp and then toured a show about it.

“I want people to go on a journey and hear something I’ve not heard and see something through someone else’s eyes. I want to get people engaged with a certain idea.”

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Despite having some incredible life-experiences and touring some intriguing shows, Mark admitted that he doesn’t have a favourite moment as he always “plods on” hoping that the next show and next moment is just as engaging as the last one.

He said: “The form and ideas surrounding my shows change but if I didn’t love performing I wouldn’t be doing it.

“To understand why I love it, I would need to be a psychiatrist. When I perform I feel at ease with myself and I get a buzz from the audience. Every audience is different, and every demographic is different. It is a question of the reaction I get from them as to how the show will go.

“I like to get people involved, I will always ask for audience interaction. I like people shouting out.”

Hi latest show, 50 Things About Us, is coming to Bridgwater Arts Centre in Bridgwater on January 23. It is a show about money, history, songs, gongs, wigs, unicorns, guns, bungs, sods of soil and rich people in the vein of The Manifesto-meets-sweary history channel.

Mark added: “The show is asking questions and telling stories about politics being dominated by English Nationalism.

“I will try to tell 50 things about us (if there is time of course). And well, why would now not be the perfect time? Especially after the recent election.

“I am really look forward to the show, I love performing of course. It is really good and people should come and see it.

“The arts centre in Bridgwater is a great place.”

To book or to find out more visit bridgwaterartscentre.co.uk or call 01278 422700.

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