New York | 1h 50m | Already closed


From 36 critic and 3 member reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Resonant, Clever

About the show

All for One presents a solo show based on the true story of comedian Mark Thomas' discovery that a good friend and fellow activist was actually a mole sent by Britain's biggest arms manufacturer to spy on Mark. More…

'Cuckooed' is a tale of hubris, planes, demos and undercover deceit told by an award-winning performer. To tell this comedy of betrayal, award-winning UK comedian Mark Thomas uses interviews from friends, colleagues, activists and journalists. 'Cuckooed' is a personal and timely tale on the impact of betrayal, unearthing what it means to be spied upon by a corporation under the sanction of the state.


"With superb direction by Emma Callandar, this fast moving show will keep you on the edge of your seat... '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...This is a one-of-a-kind show that is truly captivating." Full Review


"This interactive media show with his live solo performance is a revelation, with immense scope and power. Its themes reverberate today. Their currency is dynamic and terrifying. Thomas portrays himself throughout the production. He is sardonic, funny, prophetic, mesmerizing and profound. His account has the relevance of court testimony…The production is sardonic and at times outright funny." Full Review

What's On Off Broadway

"Mark Thomas’ performance is wildly imaginative and energetic, and the show has surprising depth…Mr. Thomas traffics in a fierce honesty…'Cuckooed' ends up being touching, because of the singular act of betraying a trust...Mr. Thomas’ accent was hard for some people to understand, but the effort is well worth it." Full Review

Manhattan With a Twist

"What Thomas does so well is that instead of exploiting that fear for a cheap reaction, he makes you feel comfortable with the idea of standing up to it, to look at in the face and laugh. That it is fine to be hurt as long as you don’t let it keep you down, that it is only okay to move on if you come out stronger. And in doing so, he does something not many shows do, he makes you think both personally and generally about everything around you." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"Written by Thomas and skillfully directed by Emma Callander, 'Cuckooed,' with its breakneck pace and devastating subject matter, shows Thomas’ skill as a deeply personal storyteller with the ability to stir righteous indignation in his audience." Full Review


"Thankfully, Thomas is neither a pedagogue nor a preacher, but an amiable comedian asking some important questions...This synthesis of performance art and investigative journalism will appeal to many theatergoers...Martin never agreed to speak with Thomas for this show, so his motivations remain a mystery, giving 'Cuckooed' the feeling of a work in progress…'Cuckooed' is surprisingly full of heart." Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

"'Cuckooed' often does go on and on much like the creature of its title and one can understand an audience member drifting off here and there. But perhaps that is the point…He is energetic, fully committed, and engaging in every way. His solo performance is a powerful tour de force whether it is theatre or lecture and it is worth the visit. With meticulous direction by Emma Callander, 'Cuckooed' is deliciously brimming with the tactics Mr. Thomas has used to fight for justice." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"In 'Cuckooed,' Thomas relives his ordeal and puts its consequences very much in the present. Martin has never attempted to explain his activities, but the 'why' is not the point of the show. Instead, this is Thomas' successful bid to get us to invest and empathize with a very personal story of activism, camaraderie, and the long-term and far-reaching effects of deception." Full Review

Ethan Kanfer: New York Theater Reviews

"The show’s core narrative, a kind of loss-of-innocence story, gives the show an emotional spine that makes it a true theater piece rather than just an evening of politically-oriented standup...Thomas does not paint a rosy picture of an activist’s life, nor does he attempt to flatter the audience with the good news that we can make the world a better place. He does, however, provide an honest, and ultimately moving glimpse of life in the trenches." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"'Cuckooed' shines a fascinating light on the world of British political activism...Thomas' hurt and confusion are made vividly real...Still, it's hard not to feel that we're getting only a small portion of the story, and the more we hear about Martin, the more fascinating he becomes, at the expense of everyone else…Thomas makes a fascinating host, even if his anger tends to overrule his attempts at wit...'Cuckooed' provides plenty of food for thought." Full Review


"Callander keeps the pace fast, partly comic, mostly serious, with a strong tinge of outrage...This is Michael Moore on steroids...A lot of the play - a bit too much for outsiders - involves Thomas discussing with fellow campaigners their reactions to what Martin had done...Political theater has always been among the best theater, telling stories of the issues raised by political campaigners and activists. But in this case, stirring political theater is activism itself." Full Review

British Theatre Guide

for a previous production "This is political theatre at its very best. Thomas takes his audience through a tale of political activism and espionage that takes the breath away...The delivery is impassioned but lightened with underlying wit, which is necessary for such an important subject. The messages of this chilling production, expertly directed by Emma Callander, are all too clear. We could all be unwitting victims of this kind of spying." Full Review

Wow 24/7 (UK)

for a previous production "All that Thomas does, over an hour, is to make a brilliant job of telling this sad tale of activism and betrayal, and of a friendship lost. In Emma Callander’s fluent production, though, he does it in irresistible style, funny, self-deprecating, infinitely accessible, eloquent in its use of film and video, but never overwhelmed by it. And by the end of the show, he is asking hard, passionate questions to which every citizen of the UK should have an answer." Full Review

Theatre Cat

for a previous production "Mark Thomas is the most intelligent of the modern leftist standups: impassioned, a practical activist emotionally driven but capable of rich mockery of himself, his confreres and the absurdity and illogic which threatens all human endeavours, even (or especially) the most sincere. In this riveting, headlong narrative there are plenty of laughs...Outrage,sadness, humour, and an underlying solid decency: whatever your politics and pragmatisms, an unmissable hour." Full Review

The Public Reviews

for a previous production "Mark Thomas delivers a blisteringly funny yet searingly powerful look into one of the many chapters in his life...'Cuckooed' is blisteringly funny, searingly powerful, totally thought provoking and pure brilliance. Thomas strikes gold yet again." Full Review

Edinburgh Guide

for a previous production "Uncomfortable as it is at times to watch, ‘Cuckooed’ is a very funny show about a serious, indeed deadly, business...This is vintage Mark Thomas – seriously funny in all the best senses, and as he so often is, bang on the money." Full Review

Liverpool Sound and Vision

for a previous production "There was no need for bandstands, there was no need to think of faraging the bin in an effort to feel productive or proactive after the show, this was just a performance in which to share the pain, to dissolute it if possible by laughing with Mark Thomas, but understanding what can only be described as grief wrapped up in a bellyful of laughter. A stirring and emotional night of pure brave genius." Full Review

The Skinny (UK)

for a previous production "Thomas’s energy never falters despite the serious subtext behind the humour. A wittily-crafted play, which, amongst the laughter, raises questions of the faith that the people place in government; who can we trust if everyone is spying on one another? The whole audience will have been cuckooed by Mark Thomas’s performance as his fearlessly funny investigation is brought to an end at the Traverse Theatre." Full Review

East Anglian Daily Times

for a previous production "He is an engaging storyteller who is hilarious yet sensitive, and has an incredible thirst for fighting injustice in the world...Throughout the performance, which was laced with humour and poignancy, he was able to switch tones effortlessly, and all completely genuine. It is also impressive how he commands such stage presence for a one-man show. He draws you in with this fascinating tale, and leaves you feeling both reflective and inspired. Quite simply- brilliant." Full Review

Edinburgh News

for a previous production "The show itself could hardly have been more clever. As the evidence piled up, the capacity audience grew almost as angry as Thomas himself. Somehow, though, for all the hurt and betrayal, Thomas found rich seams of humour and mined them relentlessly. Both thought-provoking and hilarious, Thomas is always worth twice the asking price." Full Review

The Arts Desk

for a previous production "Mark Thomas's new show is in the theatre section of the Fringe brochure, but this hour, full of laughs and witty lines as it is, could easily be under the heading of comedy...'Cuckooed' is a masterful piece of storytelling and an engrossing hour...Emma Callander directs a neatly constructed and riveting hour." Full Review

Back Seat Mafia

for a previous production "Before the interval he assures each spectator that the second half of his performance is 'brilliant.' He does not disappoint...Throughout 'Cuckooed' unorthodox performance methods...The new methods modernise and rejuvenate the theatre experience as today’s audiences are encouraged to think interactively, holistically and altogether differently." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "A clever, funny and angry show. One that is imbued with genuine sadness too...Part of the power of this neatly crafted one-man show is the way it exposes how easily we believe and how hard it is to accept that we have been duped... His roots in standup are in evidence in his self-deprecating humour, but he also plays mischievously with the pretences of theatre as he explores the uses and misuses of deception and reminds us that you should never believe everything you are told." Full Review

TV Bomb

for a previous production "'Cuckooed' is more than just comedy theatre. It is thought-provoking storytelling that holds the audience’s attention with aggression and passion...It is an emotional journey that Thomas takes us on and this makes 'Cuckooed' a powerful and important story to tell." Full Review

Cuckoo Review

for a previous production "'Cuckooed' was gripping from start to finish and was so well executed that it was easy to forget for a moment that the events portrayed were more than simply a story created for the stage. That is, until the ending, which came somewhat abruptly in a flurry of shaky camera footage. The moment the performance ended felt like a blurry eyed awakening but as one fellow audience member so aptly put it, the hoped-for resolution could never come, ‘because this is real life.'" Full Review

Absorbing, Funny, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, True story

See it if you like provocative solo shows. Thomas has a fascinating tale and he tells it well. The ends aren't all tied up, but the ride is engaging.

Don't see it if you want highly polished theater. This was more like being told a story (with the help of video) by a funny guy at a dinner party.

Also I'm catching up on old reviews. Cuckoo'ed was fun, but very short and ... Read more Read less

During previews
Absorbing, Intelligent, Must see, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if for an insiders view of corporations spying on activists & personal betrayal. Intense, informative, and absorbing. Believable & alarming

Don't see it if you want to stay uniformed and think it has nothing to do with you.

During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Original, Refreshing

See it if You're interested in politics or a good investigative story told by a strong performer (he's a comedian)

Don't see it if you really don't care about politics or the UK, like at all

Cast & Creatives (4)