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BWW Review: CUCKOOED at 59E59 is Completely Captivating

"It's hard to know who the real villains are."


Cuckooed, a one-man show starring Mark Thomas is now making its US Premiere at 59E59 Theatrers through November 21st. Thomas also wrote this unique play that brings together comedy and drama in an intriguing story about social and political protest, clandestine maneuvering and the people behind the operations. With superb direction by Emma Callandar, this fast moving show will keep you on the edge of your seat.

In Cuckooed, Thomas discusses the adventures and misadventures of a group of conscientious objectors. He recounts numerous projects like the plan to strand arms dealers on a bus to a trade show and the time he created a fake consulting business to lure leaders into admitting torture. Thomas, also a journalist, has cohorts that are united in their causes including Nick, a smart ethical type, Emily who participates in direct action and Martin, a brutally honest and extreme protester who is admired by fellow activists. Thomas seamlessly takes on multiple roles in the show to tell his story and he has video chats onstage with fellow dissenters. Along the way, some surprising and unsettling information is revealed. There is evidence that one of the trusted campaigners is a mole for BAE Systems, Britain's biggest arms dealer, and was hired to spy on Thomas and other activists.

Cuckooed has a remarkably original premise. The show mirrors real life events with humor, passion and veracity. Thomas is a true talent whose performance is exciting, energetic and completely entertaining. He brings his experience as a renowned British comedian, international performer, writer, television personality, storyteller and left-wing agitator to the stage. This is a one-of-a-kind show that is truly captivating. See it while it's on limited engagement at 59E59 Theatres.

The design team has done a fantastic job of bringing Cuckooed to life with stage design by Tim McQuillen-Wright, lighting design by Kate Bonney, audio-visual design by Duncan McLean and sound design by Helen Atkinson. The Production Stage Manager is Tine Selby.

Cuckooed is presented by All For One and Lakin McCarthy in association with Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh. It will be performed at the 59E59 Theaters on limited engagement through November 21st. The theater is located at 59 east 59th Street (between Madison and Park Avenues) New York, NY 10022. Tickets are $35 ($24.50) for 59E59 Members). To purchase tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or visit

Photo Credit: Richard Davenport

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