A FULL house welcomes Mark Thomas to The Crescent in York for A Show That Gambles On The Future.

Having begun his stand-up career performing in working men's clubs, he quickly declares that he "loves" this York venue, once exactly that and now a thriving community centre for music, comedy and more.

The idea behind the show is that the audience will forecast possible future events, Mark will talk about all of them, and we'll vote for our favourite at the end. Then Mark will try to place a bet on that actually happening. If the prediction comes true, the winnings will be donated to charity. It's a great premise, and one that requires audience interaction throughout.

Mark's political stance is abundantly clear, and our predictions about the future of certain government figures provoke some amusing, angry outbursts, especially in the first half. Stories about his own childhood are intertwined with our forecasts. They're funny and insightful, particularly recalling the smoking habits of his northern grandmother, and enlivened further by his energetic performance.

American and British political themes are at the forefront but the local predictions bring the show to life. Independence for York (not Yorkshire), the longevity of pantomime dames, and the potential collapse of York Minister all feature some entertaining exchanges with the forecaster. Mark is well used to heckling and deals with some people pretty bluntly.

The combined audience vote goes to a comedy prediction that "omelette becomes a verb" because, if you can boil or fry an egg, you should be able to omelette one! And rather than anything more serious, this sums up a thought-provoking and entertaining night out.