Monday, 7 July 2014

Mark Thomas Show Appeal

Mark Thomas: Support for his new touring show
Comedian and campaigner Mark Thomas is creating a new political show and is seeking help from the trade union movement.
The new show is about spies and surveillance - by the state and by multinational corporations. Like Mark, organisations and individuals in the trade union movement have been the target of undercover operations and blacklisting for many years. That is why we want to reach out and link up with the movement - to take the show around the UK, to ask pertinent questions and to encourage public interest and debate.
We need to raise a total of £10,000 to pay for the rehearsals, research and technical development of the show.
So we are asking national trade unions, union federations, trade councils and union branches for help and support to sponsor the work and to put in anything from £500 to £1,000 towards the project (and more if you can afford it).
In exchange for your support the show's supporters will be acknowledged on the tour publicity (including any play script or programme) and have the opportunity to t promote your own campaigns, organisation and activities at the show.
Cuckooed is the true story of how BAE Systems infiltrated anti arms trade activists and ended up spying upon a comedian.
The spy became a close friend of Mark’s and the discovery was painful and humiliating.
The show consists of Mark telling the story using interviews conducted with friends and campaigners (including women who had relationships with police spies), illuminating the emotional impact that this invasion has on people’s lives.
The show opens in Edinburgh at the Traverse Theatre for a month in August (as part of the fringe), will tour the UK in October and November and finally ends up at the Tricycle Theatre in London in December.
Mark has been a performer for 28 years and is a trade union member/member of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ)
His last show was supported by the trade union movement and Walking the Wall (the story of Mark walking the length of the Israeli Wall in the West Bank) was performed to over 50,000 people and the book, Extreme Rambling, has sold over 50,000 copies.
His last show at the Traverse Theatre won a Fringe First and a Herald Angel award and was broadcast on Radio 4.
Mark’s has a history of involvement in trade unionism dating back to the miners strike, he spoke at the 20th anniversary gala in Barnsley and performed numerous annual benefits for the NUM and UCAAT in Wakefield. He has a proud association with the FBU, has interviewed Tony Benn in front of a capacity crowd of 1400 people in Glasgow and most recently was praised by BECTU general secretary for his involvement in the Curzon workers dispute for trade union recognition.
He is a member of the NUJ (who are backing his legal fight along with other NUJ members to stop the police spying on journalists) and the GMB (he is on the activists list of the Construction Blacklist and is part of the GMB legal challenge).
Mark is currently involved in legal action backed by the NUJ to challenge data collected on him by the police and others involved in investigative journalism.
We would appreciate it if you can raise this matter for discussion and agreement at your own union and seek support to get involved with the show.
If you have any questions then please feel free to get in touch.
Thank you for considering this appeal. We look forward to hearing from you.
Mike McCarthy
Show Producer
for Mark Thomas

Lakin McCarthy

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