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Stand Up For Firebox: Francesca Martinez, Mark Thomas, Jeremy Hardy, Stewart Lee, Tony Benn
Firebox is a haven for dangerously progressive ideas in the heart of London. This is a political project initiated by Counterfire and bringing the best the left has to offer in ideas, debate, art and culture.
Please note that the artists appearing may be subject to change.
Rising comedy star and ex-Grange Hill actress (playing Rachel Burns) whose shows are a mix of stand-up and flashback sketches. Not one to shy away from the important issues, in 2008 Francesca made global headlines when she became the first Olympic Torch-Bearer to pull out of the London relay in protest against China’s treatment of Tibet. She has mild cerebral palsy but she much prefers the word ‘wobbly’.
Francesca Martinez tour dates
TV's comedy guerilla with his own shrewd take on governmental and corporate exploitation. Mark Thomas is well versed in the art of creative mayhem and over the years his troublemaking has changed laws, cost companies millions and annoyed those who most deserved to be.
“One of Britain's greatest storytellers…beautifully-paced and structured…a passionate humanity that surpasses most other work at the Fringe" (The Scotsman).
'A brand of comedy that carries a far weightier purpose than to simply generate laughs.. Cuckooed leaves a lasting impression' (Sunday Herald)
'A clever, funny and angry show... an excoriating, heartfelt monologue...Thomas the polemicist deploys the comedian's eye for a situation's dark absurdities' (The Guardian)
'Thomas's show ruefully tots up the cost of personal betrayal' (Sunday Times)
'Bracing, brilliant and necessary... Mark Thomas is the most intelligent of the modern leftist stand-ups... an unmissable hour' (Theatre Cat).
Mark Thomas was named in Ents24's top 20 hardest-working comedians 2017 and 2016.
Mark Thomas tour dates
Jeremy Hardy has been a stand-up comic since 1984 and will be one until he dies or wins the lottery.
Jeremy is best known for his work on Radio 4, notably on News Quiz, I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue and Jeremy Hardy Speaks to the Nation. In 2010, he published a book, My Family and Other Strangers, chronicling his desperate search for interesting ancestors. His television credits include Jack Dee’s Election Helpdesk (BBC2), QI (BBC1), Mock The Week (BBC2), Grumpy Old Men (BBC1), Back In The Day (BBC2), Not Tonight With John Sergeant (BBC2).
'In an ideal world, Jeremy Hardy would be extremely famous, but an ideal world would leave him without most of his best material' (The Guardian).
'A comic genius' (Sandi Toksvig).
Jeremy Hardy was named in Ents24's top 10 hardest-working comedians of 2015.
Jeremy Hardy tour dates
An official Channel 4 survey of the 100 Greatest Stand-ups Ever placed Stewart Lee at number 41. His mother, whom he loves dearly, thinks Tom O'Connor the better comedian, having seen him do a joke about a sardine on a cruise ship ten years ago. And he isn't even in the top 100...
'The funniest, most cliche-free comedian on the circuit' (Ricky Gervais).
'Superlative... Remains one of the best stand-ups in the country' (Metro)
'Marvellously funny: mordant, thoughtful and crafted' (Observer)
'There's a wealth of evidence to suggest that in the last few years, Lee has gone completely mad... More skilful and playful than ever' (The Guardian)
'What is exhilarating is how many surprises he still throws in and how deft his jumps are from one tone to another….invigorating' (The Times)
'He is... the only comedian who can get away with deconstructing and critiquing his own routines as he goes along and not be repellent. He, and his material, are simply that good' (The Independent).
Stewart Lee tour dates