Time Out Melbourne

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British performer and provocateur Mark Thomas tours Australia for the first time with the tale of his ramble round the length of Israel's West Bank barrier

Thomas's travelogue hilariously highlights the absurdity of the wall as a security measure, as well as illustrating its humanitarian impact on the lives of Palestinians.

The real delight of this show is the way Thomas brings to life – more by force of empathy than any profound talent for impersonation – a curious and engaging cast characters from both sides of the wall.

Though billed as a "ramble", this is actually a meticulously crafted narrative with a very formal, disciplined structure, a seamless construct of comedy and polemic, albeit masked as the scattered recollections of a dilettantish comedian.

The heavier humanitarian points are all carefully tied back into the comic narrative by the extensive use of back-referencing punchlines: the jokes don't stop, but neither does the politics, both coming at you simultaneously.

The humour is terrifically accessible, with Thomas accentuating the self-deprecating bumbling-Brit-abroad angle to undercut any sense of peachiness.

The "ramble" tag also belies Thomas's headlong energy as he compresses all 750km of his journey around the wall into a fleeting 120 minutes. His performance has clearly been well-honed and you couldn't really ask for a trimmer example of passionate comedy.

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By Andrew Fuhrmann   |  

Mark Thomas - Extreme Rambling (Walking the Wall) details

New Ballroom
54 Victoria St, Carlton South 3053

Telephone 1300 660 013

Price $25.00 to $31.50

Date 29 Mar 2012-22 Apr 2012

Open Tue-Sat 7.30pm; Sun 6.30pm

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