The comedian and political activist Mark Thomas is to bring his award-winning show The Red Shed to Durham’s Gala Theatre.
The show was inspired by Mark’s political coming of age in 1980s Wakefield, where he put on his first gigs in a wooden hut that measured just 47 feet in length and housed the local Labour Club.
The impact of then prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s policies on Wakefield’s working class community awoke a new determination in Mark and changed his life forever.
Thirty years later, Mark revisited Wakefield’s ‘Red Shed’ to celebrate the hut’s 50th birthday. This inspired him to combine the tale of his political awakening with the stories of the people who inspired it.
The Red Shed tells the story of “strikes, fights, dinner ladies, burgers and burger slingers. Pickets, placards, friendship, love, history, dreams, and, above all, remembering.”
Via audience participation, the show will recreate the shed and the people who frequented it. Mixing theatre, stand-up comedy, journalism and activism, The Red Shed brings to life the “battle for hope and survival of a community in a small wooden shed.”
During his career, Mark Thomas has won a number of awards and accolades. His show Cuckooed won the Scotsman Fringe First Award and the Stage Special Award when it was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe last year.
Mark has also won a Herald Angel Award and the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award. In addition, he has scooped a Time Out Comedy Award and been given an honorary doctorate by the University of Bradford.
Mark’s political activism has seen him giving evidence to Parliamentary Select Committees, investigating inheritance tax avoidance and walking the entire length of the Israeli wall in the West Bank.
Mark Thomas will be performing The Red Shed at Durham’s Gala Theatre on Wednesday March 1st at 8.00 pm. Tickets are priced at £16 (£12 for concessions). They can be purchased by phoning 03000 266 600, by visiting the box office in person or by going to www.galadurham.co.uk.