Sunday 04th December

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Josie Long
© Giles Smith

Josie Long: Something Better review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

With her infectious, left-leaning and hugely entertaining show about hope and despair, Long injects a burst of optimism into an uncertain vein.

It doesn’t take long to like Josie Long.  For most, it happens pre-show as she greets her audience from the stage and dances unpretentiously to her favourite songs.  For others, it’s when she formally begins, quickly exaggerating a host of physical, mental and professional flaws.  The point is: unless your spirit is particularly mean, Long will win you over, make you belly laugh and – at least in some small way – cause you to reflect on her left-wing beliefs, which form a significant part of the show.

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Category: Comedy
© Tracey Moberley
© Tracey Moberley

Mark Thomas: The Red Shed review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

The Red Shed is an intense and moving masterpiece, representing the very best of Mark Thomas’ talents as a comedian, actor and journalist.

Mark Thomas begins by recounting an interview he gave to NME in 1989.  He rattled through his answers, before being asked: “Where do you get your politics from?”  Thomas knew it stemmed from his time at ‘The Red Shed’, a Labour Club in Wakefield, where he became involved in the 1984 Miners’ Strike.  Before realising, Thomas had delivered a rant to the unsuspecting reviewer – which he repeats now – about a march he joined through the heart of a pit village and past a school playground where children ran forward crying to sing “Solidarity Forever” at their fathers and sons, supporting them in their fight against injustice.  Then Thomas goes silent, sweating and teary.  Finally, he injects some levity: “I’ve told that story so many times, that I’ve no idea whether it’s even true.”

During the rest of the performance, Thomas reports on his quest to test his memory was true: to track down that village and those children “without sounding like a paedophile”.

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Category: Comedy