From the moment Sean Cullen slunk on to the Fairfax stage at the Arts Centre a feeling arose that Sean was not alright. It wasn’t in his plan but this unsaid thing dominated and was later in the show he admitted he was unwell. To me it read that Sean had been smashed by gastroenteric with horrific jet lag thrown in for good measure.
Moments fleeted wherein like a drunk awaiting from a blackout he internally screamed ‘WHERE AM I? Why am I doing comedy at my body clock of 9 am.’ Empathetically the audience got it. Here was a trooper for whom the show must go on. It was a salutary lesson from an old school trooper of how to survive a Saturday night when the odds and indeed ones biology is stacked against you. His show entitled ‘I am a Human Man’ framed and forgave him.
Never in my own experience of going to comedy have I ever been at a gig where the comedian spoke so softly. He engaged with the audience and rambled off into glorious fits and trips of improved sideline and we got it. He amped up when he swanned into mimicry- Liam Neeson and English gangster movies. His real forte was when he sang: riffing into farming, grunge bands, the surreal and daddy teaching son how to treat the ladies. He couldn’t but not commit when it came to the songs, which counterpointed whatever was really going on for him.
It was an entertaining 75 minutes that reminds that there is always a human with a reality going on behind the facade of just making us laugh.
story by Connor O’Neil
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