The Red Shed is part of Mark’s theatrical trilogy, following the much-revered Bravo Figaro and Cuckooed. Mark returned to the place where it all began – the Red Shed, a labour club in Wakefield – to celebrate the club’s 50th birthday as he continued his tour in 2017 of yet another award-winning, highly acclaimed performance.
The Shed, home to Mark’s first public performances, is also a home to dissent, to organising and to progressive politics, and so it was here that Mark’s true political prowess began. An iconic and vital place for its patrons, this is where the true meaning of solidarity is found and where you can be part of history and part of the struggle. A south London lad, born to a Thatcherite world of self-employed builders, labourers and tradesman like his father where the individual is key, Wakefield’s alien traditional labour community awoke a new determination in Mark and changed his life forever.
Interviewing old friends and comrades, Mark pieces together the club’s history and works alongside it to campaign with some of the poorest workers in the country. It is the story of the battle for hope and the survival of a community. It is a tale of strikes, fights, dinner ladies, crap beer, good beer, burger slingers, pickets, placards, commies, friendship, love, history, dreams and, above all, remembering. Part theatre, part stand up, part journalism, part activism, Mark realises his obsession with community and struggle.