Mark Thomas: A comic who leaves you thinking
Comedian Mark Thomas came to Belfast last night to discuss his attempt to walk the Israeli-constructed wall around the Palestinian West Bank.
The Empire Music Hall stage was adorned with a map of the Israel-Palestine border and the merchandise stall was doing a roaring trade in Thomas's People's Manifesto and slogan-adorned T-shirts. A Michael McIntyre gig it wasn't.
Belfast's Guardianistas were out in force to hear Thomas speak with energy and eloquence about his hare-brained trek.
He rambled — pun intended — about the geography, the offbeat characters he encountered and his numerous terrifying run-ins with the authorities.
At 47, the radical funnyman had lost none of his quickfire wit as he rattled out the anecdotes about Israeli anarchists, activist clowns and a visit to a dilapidated Palestinian zoo.
Elsewhere, Thomas marvelled at the simplicity of orthodox Jews' dress sense and threw in a couple of allegories on Northern Ireland.
Thomas's show was a stirring counterpoint to the more vanilla stand-up fare comedy fans are accustomed to these days.
Funny, but food for thought.