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Australian Premiere of Mark Thomas in England & Son at Holden Street Theatres – 2024 Adelaide Fringe

A nation that devours another will one day devour itself


ENTERTAINMENT NOW – Best Theatre Award -2023

LUSTRUM AWARD – Unforgettable Festival Shows – 2023


OFFFEST – Nominee 2023

The award-winning play, England & Son starring UK comic, theatre maker, writer and actor Mark Thomas, will have its Australian premiere season at the 2024 Adelaide Fringe in The Studio at Holden Street Theatres, 34 Holden Street Hindmarsh, from 14 February to 17 March, at various times.

Having garnered 5-star reviews and even more awards at the 2023 Edinburgh Fringe along with Adelaide’s  Holden Street Theatres’ 2023 Award, Mark Thomas is now as reputed in theatre as he is in comedy. He’s done shows about visiting the West Bank, starting a comedy club in Jenin, espionage, lobbying Parliament, walking in the footsteps of the highest NHS officials, playing at The Royal Opera House, stopping arms deals and creating manifestos. 

Mark had six series of The Mark Thomas Comedy Product on Channel 4, several television documentaries and radio series, written some books, grabbed a Guinness World Record, sell-out tours, won numerous awards, nabbed himself a Medal of Honour and succeeded in changing some laws along the way. He has most recently been awarded his London bus pass, an honour he is possibly prouder of than any of the above. 

In England Son, Mark takes the audience on a kaleidoscopic odyssey where disaster capitalism, empire, stolen youth and stolen wealth merge into the simple tale of a working-class boy, who just wants his dad to smile at him.

The play was written specifically for Mark by award-winning playwright Ed Edwards, who’s previous play, The Political History of Smack and Crack, garnered great critical acclaim in 2018. With some deep, dark laughs – and some deep, dark love – along the way, this is a one-man play based on characters from Mark’s own childhood as well as Ed’s personal experience in gaol. Direction is by Cressida Brown.

Reviews for England & Son

✭✭✭✭✭ A brilliant piece of political theatre at its most entertaining, engaging and effective  THE MORNING STAR

✭✭✭✭✭ A searing one-hander that burns on long after the audience has vacated their seats  FEST MAG

✭✭✭✭✭ A contemporary parable… passion, physicality, and deep compassion – and the performance sings from it ENTERTAINMENT NOW

✭✭✭✭✭ Extraordinarily powerful… a stunning performance   SCOTS GAY

✭✭✭✭✭ A powerful cinematic journey through ecstatic highs and bone-crushing lows as if on a theatrical flying carpet   EDINBURGH REVIEWS

✭✭✭✭✭ Veering from funny to ferocious… very humorous and deeply moving. Don’t miss this! NORTH WEST END UK

✭✭✭✭✭ Thomas is electrifying… an exceptional work…. England & Son is exactly such a rarity! A ‘must see THE RECS

✭✭✭✭ Funny and ferocious THE GUARDIAN

✭✭✭✭ A ferocious script, sharply directed and magnificently delivered  THE TIMES

✭✭✭✭ Expertly played blistering solo THE TELEGRAPH

✭✭✭✭ Tremendous energy and real pathos… a tremendous performance from Mark Thomas THE STAGE

✭✭✭✭ Exquisitely crafted… the austere moral intensity of script and performance are never compromisedTHE LIST

✭✭✭✭ Fierce and sharp… profound and moving. A triumph for all concerned WHAT’S ON STAGE

✭✭✭✭ Heartbreakingly powerful, sharp and tragic… he remains one of the great performer-storytellers of our time THE SCOTSMAN

✭✭✭✭ A devastating one-man show ED FEST MAG

✭✭✭✭ A harrowing story that has been sensitively written and wonderfully performed BROADWAY WORLD

✭✭✭✭ A hurricane of charismatic energy, leaving the audience too gripped to leave and too scared to interrupt BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE

✭✭✭✭  It certainly hits home with today’s audience… he has the audience in the palm of the hand  BOUQUETS & BRICKBATS 

Playwright ED EDWARDS

Ed started his creative career as a circus performer but stopped at the age when you start to think, “This is actually dangerous”. Ed now juggles a writing career, lecturing, making films and child-rearing. The latter being far more potentially injurious than slack-rope walking because these are two boys who share a love of violence.

Virtually illiterate at the age of eleven, Ed eventually managed to educate himself, get to university and become a professional writer. He is now only one-third illiterate. 

He did three-and-a-half years in prison in the early 90s for drugs offences where he published his first novel.  He has now published five novels, a children’s book and worked for several continuing TV dramas including Holby City and the now defunct Brookside and The Bill, though he maintains his having worked for these shows isn’t why they died.

With several original plays broadcast on Radio 4 as well as short films on Channel 4 and BBC 2, Ed has recently turned to guerrilla filmmaking and has recently directed a number of short films and co-directed and produced the feature film Scrambled. His most recent play The Political History of Smack and Crackgarnered critical acclaim nationwide. He misses the Soviet Union and Fidel Castro. He also loves making jam and writing about himself in the third person.


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