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Mark Thomas’ Showtime From The Frontline

Tue 09 Jun 2020


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Mark Thomas’ Showtime From The Frontline


Exeter Phoenix may be temporarily closed, but we’re not going to let that get in the way of bringing arts and culture to Exeter. Welcome to Front Room Phoenix – our way of beaming online creative activity straight to your sofa! Through Front Room Phoenix we will be sharing information about our selection of virtual events we think you’ll love.
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20% of your ticket purchase for this show will go towards supporting Exeter Phoenix. 

Following the success of his lockdown live stream of Bravo Figaro, Mark Thomas brings his acclaimed 2018 Showtime From the Frontline to fans’ screens with a live stream followed by a live Q&A with himself and his co-stars Faisal and Alaa, on Tue 9 Jun at 7.30pm.

Do you have a question for Mark, Faisal and Alaa? Please leave your questions in the chatroom during the show. 

About The Show

Here’s Mark Thomas to tell you a bit about the show:

‘Back in 2009, I walked the length of the Israeli wall in the West Bank. I was arrested, fell down mountains and slept in the middle of an Israeli firing range, and I was prepared to follow my own stupidity as long as that route was the route of the wall. I was persuaded to venture from this path to visit the Jenin Freedom Theatre, a theatre in a refugee camp, run by Juliano Mer Khemis, a half Palestinian, half Israeli actor. In retrospect, I ran out of boxes to tick half way through that last sentence.

Juliano was the first person to ‘get’ what I was doing. Palestinian translators and helpers usually heard that I wanted to walk the length of the wall and promptly indicated to their car. On one occasion a farmer offered to drive me to my intended destination, when I pointed out that the route I wished to follow was farmland with no roads he said, “Is OK I have tractor.”

But when I meet Juliano he said “So what are you doing here?”

“Well ‘I am walking the length off the Israeli wall talking to as many people as I can and trying to find out what is going on…”

He turned sharply and said, “Fuck. That is what we were going to do!”

He called to a colleague down the hall who stuck his head of the door and shouted, “He’s walking the length of the wall.”

“Fuck” said his colleague.

And so began a decade long relationship with a theatre that resulted in Showtime from the Frontline.

Working with Dr Sam Beale, who teaches stand-up at Middlesex Uni, I ran a series of stand-up comedy classes in Jenin. Some of our students had never performed before, some were Juliano’s students. Our aim was open up a comedy club in a refugee camp…a very conservative refugee camp surrounded by one of the most heavily armed and trigger happy armies in the world. The result….well you have to watch the show to find out.

But what I am happy to tell you is that after many adventures with bureaucracy we managed to get two of our comedic comrades Faisal Abu Alhayjaa and Alaa Shehada to the UK where together we wrote and performed the show we are incredibly proud of; Showtime from The Frontline, the story of how to be yourself when everyone else wants to put you in a box!’ 

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Running times

7.30pm – Intro from Mark Thomas (live)
7.35pm – Showtime from the Frontline
9.05pm – Comfort Break
9.10pm – Q+A with Mark Thomas (live)

A message From Exeter Phoenix

This a very challenging time for Exeter Phoenix, with our building currently closed and events temporarily postponed. Your support during this time really does mean the world to us. We also want to thank Mark Thomas, who is donating 20% of your ticket purchase for this event to Exeter Phoenix. You can find out more how to support Exeter Phoenix at this time here >>


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