Mark Thomas - 100 Acts of Minor Dissent

Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal

Mark Thomas’s latest stand-up show at the Brewery was a work-in-progress. As he freely admitted, his current tour is designed as the warm up to a show on May 15 in Sheffield. By that time, he will have have committed 100 acts of minor dissent. If he fails, he has pledged to donate £1,000 to UKIP.

The minor acts range from stickers on books (”Also available cheaper in charity shops” on Jeremy Clarkson books, for example) to more elaborate (and more serious) protests, designed to challenge politicians and thoughtless bureaucracy. I particularly liked the idea of establishing Daily Mail-free zones in trains.

This was vintage Thomas. His show had humanity and heart behind the liberal polemic. He was funny, engaging and generous to his audience, engaging with it and praising good suggestions (and heckles). He did a good job of stirring up the Kendal crowd - perhaps too good in one case when his response to a particular heckle dragged out too long and resulted in the audience member’s absence in the second half.

All 100 Acts will be listed in his final show at the Leadmill, Sheffield in May. It’s already sold out but you can read more about it on his website at

Colin Shelbourn