Monday, April 2, 2012

Mark Thomas, Extreme Rambling (Walking the Wall), April 1, 2012 ****

Trades Hall, until April 22, 2012

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas in Extreme Rambling. Supplied

HERE'S an unusual show - part comedy routine, part history lesson, part travelogue - that comes out of left field. Or should that be The Left Bank.

In 2010, Mark Thomas decided to express support for the Palestinian cause by walking (rambling) the entire 723 km length of the Israeli-built West Bank Wall.

Precisely why Thomas and his cameraman put themselves and others in harm’s way, is never fully explained during this two-hour offering.

Thomas is hyper-active and sweaty, but a masterful story-teller, whose only props are two large-scale maps of the West Bank that show the Wall’s location. One of the maps doubles as a projector screen.

Along his ramblings, Thomas meets a weird, often scary assortment of Palestinians and Israelis. His impersonations of those persons are brilliant. This is a highly polished performance but Thomas stuffs his travelogue chock full of people, places and incidents, so you need to pay close attention lest you miss out critical details.

At the end of Thomas’s narrative, you will either think him courageous, or just another misguided idiot abroad.

By Joe Calleri

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