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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

MISSING LINKS (article first published : 2006-07-11)

Stand-up comedian Mark Sampson’s hysterically funny show Missing Links has been a massive success nationwide. It was a huge hit at the National Arts Festival in July 2005, after selling out in Cape Town, and opening the new development at the Cradle of Humankind in Gauteng. In 2006 Missing Links has already played to packed houses and great critical acclaim at the Liberty Life Theatre on the Square in Sandton in Johannesburg, the Cape Town Festival and the KKNK in Oudtshoorn, and is set to tour to Mossel Bay, Plettenberg Bay, Port Elizabeth, Durban and East London as well as Grahamstown this year.

Blonde dreadlocked Sampson may not look like a scientist, but he is a trained biologist and when he first came to South Africa from England 14 years ago, he worked in the histology department of the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. He has put his background to good use in Missing Links, as he spent 6 months researching theories of evolution and was in the habit of calling up experts at Wits University to check his facts. Mark was honoured to have South Africa’s greatest palaeo-anthropologist Professor Phillip Tobias in the audience on his opening night in Jo’burg, and even happier to have his seal of approval on the show’s scientific content!

Inspired by a visit to the Sterkfontein caves, Sampson contemplates a South African future for his kids by looking back at the very origins of the human family - all the way from the great apes to George Bush. He takes us on a rollercoaster taxi-ride through 3 billion years of evolution: from microbes to man, via Mrs Ples, Homo Erectus and a lot of monkeying about. A laugh-a-minute hour with one man and a microphone that will make you see our ancestors - and our present - in a whole new light.

For more information, call SAMP 021 789 1665 or see full reviews on www.samp.co.za




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