Is Mark Sampson’s Africa Clockwise an hilarious stand-up comedy show? Or a show about taking his family on a 2 year trek in a giant green 10-ton truck around Africa in a clockwise direction? Or a show about how African values can show us the way to cope with the challenges facing our planet?
The answer is all of the above.
Our ecological clock is ticking, but don’t be alarmed. This laughter-packed, off-the-grid off-the-wall ECOmedy will make you feel so much better about the end of the world as we know it…
Mark Sampson is a master of taking unwieldy subjects, and turning them into comedy gold. His previous hit show Missing Links explored 6 million years of evolution, while Feels Funny tackled depression – both were sell-out successes at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. (See clips on YouTube Missing Links and Feels Funny).
In Africa Clockwise, SA’s most adventurous and thought-provoking comedian continues his revolutionary journey in his most demanding quest yet. Come and discover how Sampson plans to challenge his children to cope with climate change around the coast of Africa from 2013-2015 – this is his last run of the show before they depart.
Masque Theatre, Muizenberg: Sept 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, R65. Bookings 021 788 1898.
Reviews of November 2011 run at the Sandton Theatre on the Square:
“Mark Sampson puts the conscience into comedy,
Africa Clockwise is more than a show, it’s a crusade.
Sampson’s style segues between serious and very, very funny.”
“It’s stand-up comedy at its finest…
a man with something to say and a fabulous way of saying it.”
The Daily Maverick
AFRICA CLOCKWISE written and performed by Mark Sampson at The Masque Theatre, Muizenberg until the 29th September
Reviewed by Tracey Saunders
Are you a rabid recycler or a carbon fuel crazed cretin? I suspect, like me, you are somewhere in between; concerned about the environment and the future but not quite sure how anything you do makes a whit of difference.
In this entertaining and thought provoking show Mark Sampson explores the binary that society has produced between wasters and warriors. The large space occupied by the general populace in between is where he locates himself and his family. Sampson gets under the skin of suburban society and his portraits of recycling behavior in particular are wincingly familiar.
His observations are harsh yet searingly funny and he will have you laughing even when you know you really shouldn’t be. Sampson is about to embark on a journey with his family in a converted truck around Africa, hence the name of the show. His comedy routine is interspersed with reflections on his self-exploration to reach this point. It is in these, often very personal moments that the poignancy of his decision is revealed. His personal journey however is based on a very political issue and he makes it clear that ensuring a sustainable future for more than just the wealthy few requires a change of mind and heart not just a change in behavior.
He highlights both the erosion of the environment and the erosion of values which lures us on to the consumer treadmill at the expense of personal relationships. Once you have laughed at the ridiculousness of NOT being environmentally savvy you will be hard pressed to return home without looking askance at the driver of the SUV next to you.
Catch Sampson at The Masque before he traverses 35 African countries in a Mercedes truck fuelled by fishy oil and filled with a family that he holds dear.
On 25 September 2012, by Andy Le May, iCologie
So Sunday night Lucy and I went to see green comedian Mark Sampson in his latest show Africa Clockwise at the Masque theatre in Muzenberg. It’s fast paced, rib tickling, enthralling, informative & reflective…a heartfelt and thoroughly entertaining gem.
However, it wasn’t always this way! We went to see Mark perform the first incarnation of the show at Noordhoek farm village a year or so ago and he was not as funny, more angry. This is not an unnatural reaction. Mark had been researching a lot for his show and had started to take on the gravity of the environmental and social hole we have been digging for ourselves and the task we have to face to ensure a sustainable future. The difficulty is that when you first start looking the problems seem endless and hopeless. With his two kids futures in his hands Mark decided to try and use his amazing humorous talents to raise awareness about what he had found. However, at that time he was still coming to grips with it all and the frustration and sadness was clear in his previous show. With what we do in icologie I know how this feels and we sat and chatted after the show. For what it’s worth, I shared with him what we’ve learnt about motivating the people around us to change and connect with sustainability. Focusing on the positive, connecting it with our lives, offering solutions, making it real and not just information, a journey of steps and not having to do everything. He’s been working hard on his show and travelling around SA performing it. Now his amazing, quick witted humour is shining through, he’s come to grips with a lot of the issues and is bring sustainability to our world through laughter.
With his wife Sam and his two kids, Mark is planning a clockwise tour of Africa in a green truck powered on Bio Diesel. He’s trying to raise awareness of sustainability challenges, but he is also a man on a mission. He’s trying to find some answers for himself and this is his and Sam’s way of exploring a different way of living. Obviously living behind the lentil curtain in Noordhoek was only a start. He assures me that his carbon footprint will be lower travelling with his truck than if he were to be living his normal life style. I think he’s right. What you see is what you get with Mark, no airs and graces just a genuine, honest and bearing all. He’s been through a lot over the past two years and it’s clear to see. Ironically he’s been laid up for a few months with a back injury, which he got lifting a solar panel! His search for a new meaning and securing a future for his family is taking him on an incredible and exciting journey, a journey that will inspire us all. I look forward to him sharing more of his insights with us.
Mark is on at the Masque Theatre, Muzenberg Sept 23,26,27,28,29. Tickets are R65. To book call 021 788 1898
For interviews, please call 021 789 1665
Follow the journey on Facebook or at www.africaclockwise.co.za
One year up the West coast: Namibia, Angola, DRC, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, Western Sahara, Morocco…
One year down the East coast: Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, North Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho.