Thursday, September 28

England & Son: Mark Thomas – Roundabout @ Summerhall

The lights fail, but Mark Thomas does not.

He shines.

Performed in characteristically physical style by larger-than-life Cockney, Mark Thomas in this intimate, in the round tent setting, he gets in the mud with us, he lays out Ed Edwards words for us, and we hear them.

From humorous tales of his dad’s waste metal business and his dark previous life in the British army colonising the former Malaya, we get a rich understanding of the legalised violence passed down from returning soldiers to their families, and the debilitating effect on abused partners and damaged children.

At turns veering from funny to ferocious, Thomas lays out the inevitable path of his childhood, from dysfunctional home life to youth detention centre, courtesy of Home Secretary, Willie Whitelaw’s controversial “short sharp shock” policy under Margret Thatcher.

Where the Edwards and Thomas team works brilliantly is in building a portrait of a young boy full of possibilities and potential but ultimately let down by the state and becoming part of the problem, not the solution.

Violence begets violence.

Very humorous and deeply moving. Don’t miss this!

Running time – 1 Hr

Reviewer: Greg Holstead

Reviewed: 6th August 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.