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Prison gig for Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas is to perform to hundreds of inmates at Edinburgh’s Saughton prison when he visits the Fringe next month.

The lunchtime gig, expected to be on August 10, will be part of the Edinburgh People’s Festival, an alternative to the fringe aimed at the residents of the city.

Spokesman Ali Black  told the Edinburgh Evening News: "We have spoken to Mark Thomas and he is very keen to do the show.

“It will be a great event for the prisoners, because I don’t think there will be any shows from the Fringe performing there.

 "We are talking about taking a top comedian into a place where he would normally not go. It highlights the spirit of the People’s Festival."

Thomas recently had a brush with the law when he was arrested for the first time for his direct-action campaigns. He was charged after chaining himself to a minibus ferrying arms industry delegates to a trade fair in Docklands, but acquitted by magistrates.

A Scottish Prison Service spokesman confirmed that comics and other entertainers would be visiting the jail as part of the festival.

The Edinburgh People’s Festival has also persuaded Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, to perform a free gig at the Simpson’s maternity unit at the Royal Infirmary.

Published: 21 Jul 2004

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