Mark Thomas: A Show That Gambles on the Future (4 stars)

This article is from 2017

Mark Thomas: A Show That Gambles on the Future

credit: Jane Hobson

Political comic maintains his high standards with a less theatrical stand-up show

After last year's incredible theatre show, The Red Shed, Mark Thomas returns to the Fringe with more traditional stand-up fair. This time it's just him, a microphone, a few scraps of paper and some betting odds. We're here, Thomas tells us, to work together as a group. Our job is to vote (with our cheers) for the best prediction of the future proffered by our fellow audience members pre-show.

And by 'best', he doesn't mean what we'd like to see (Corbyn as prime minister, Trump assassinated, one woman's marriage not ending in divorce: yes, sometimes the predictions get pretty personal), but which one we think is most likely to occur. It's a fun concept, and one which is certainly boosting the coffers of Paddy Power, where Thomas heads with the £1 bet donations after each show. And at some point in the future, should our group prediction come good, a charity somewhere will benefit.

Compared to the heart-stopping suspension and heart-breaking tenderness of The Red Shed, this show might seem a little slight. But he's still Mark Thomas, which means we're treated to the best kind of hilarious political rantings, underscored by some deeply moving memories of a young Thomas growing up in the shadow of his violent father.

Summerhall, until 27 Aug (not 14, 19), 6pm, £15 (£12).

Mark Thomas: A Show That Gambles on the Future

  • 4 stars

Mark Thomas sets out to discover what the future has in store for us by collecting and examining his own predictions and those of his audiences before gambling on their outcome.