Preview: Mark Thomas, Brighton Theatre Royal, Sunday September 11

COMEDIAN and political commentator Mark Thomas is the first person to walk along the Israeli Separation Barrier, as far as we know.

And it is this ramble on the edge which is the subject of his show at the Brighton Theatre Royal on Sunday September 11.

It promises to be thought provoking, funny and inspirational, given the subject matter and previous shows by the razor sharp comic.

Mark’s journey takes him along the 750km wall, crossing both sides, past 300,000 settlers and apparently he even got tear gas in the face.

Along the way he meets some fascinating people, including Juliano Mer-Khamis, a half Jewish, half Palestinian, well known Israeli actor, who runs the Freedom Theatre in a refugee camp in Jenin.

Sadly he was assassinated by a Palestinian gunman in April this year.

One of the students Mark meets at the theatre, who is about 18 and taking part in a drama class for young people tells him: “You know, before I came here, one of my life options was to be a suicide bomber.

“To lay down your life for your community is an honour, right? But now I know art is my weapon.”

Mark has been a performer since 1985, toured the UK and abroad, made seven series of his own show for Channel 4, worked as a comic, an activist and a writer. He also has a regular column in the New Statesman magazine.

Mark was even been made an honorary doctor by Bradford University for services to peace and his contribution as a comedian, political activist, presenter and investigative journalist, in particular in recognition of his effective campaigning on the ethics of the arms trade.

He’s a very interesting bloke, with a great story to tell and I for one can’t wait to find out what he makes of the wall, how it affects the Israelis and the Palestinians and what he thinks the solution might be.

Every visit to a Mark Thomas gig leaves you feeling wiser, happier for laughing a lot, but instead of feeling depressed at the inadequacies of the world the comedian outlines, he leaves you feeling inspired to fight for a better life for us all.