On Friday night Firda, myself and our friend Joe went to see the play “King of Thieves” at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. We were looking forward to it since Sean Cullen (a comedian, actor from Toronto) was playing one of the main characters. He was basically the stories narrator and also the owner of the Speakeasy in the play.
Something awesomely interesting happened at the beginning of the play. There was a power failure. The lights didn’t die completely but went into “flashing” emergency mode. The actors, being professionals, went right along with the show – even with all the lights flashing. After the first musical number a stage hand came out and told us they had to pause the show for a couple of minutes while they tried to fix the problem. In most situations this would mean the audience would have to sit around and twiddle their thumbs for 20 to 30 minutes while they figured out what was wrong. Thankfully this play had Sean Cullen.
Sean kept us entertained for the whole 20 minutes before they could resume the play. He told stories, sang improvised songs, and most importantly had the audience laughing and clapping for the whole 20 minutes. This was pure magic. Sean was in his element. Improvising is his bread and butter. He has been doing it for his whole career starting with the comedy trio “Corky and the Juice Pigs” (which I had the pleasure of seeing about a half dozen times).
While the play was great and the other actors performed admirably the show was stolen by Sean’s quick witted 20 minute improvised comedy show.
P.S.: I would definitely recommend going to see the show if you are in Stratford. I believe tickets are readily available. Just be warned that it is part musical, so if you don’t enjoy musicals stay away! 🙂