Agent "Frosty" Callan is the only man in the world to leave the spying game for the comedy game. With an insight born of seven years working for ASIO and ten years entertaining the intelligence troops at security conferences and functions in undisclosed locations, Callan has been unpicking the tangled web of deceit and secrets to reveal the true workings of the modern spy agency.
I SPIED was created just over 10 years ago and it was a smash hit back then. But a lot has happened in the world of intelligence and security since. With Edward Snowden's biggest pirate download in history, to Julian Assange's massive WikiLeak all over US intelligence. This new version of I SPIED is sure to be even more popular than the first.
Written and performed by David Callan. Some of his past performances have been in the 2011 sitcom 'At Home with Julia', he also played the recurring role of Agent Smith, one of the Australian Federal Police agents on the Prime Minister's security detail. In 2012, he appeared in two episodes of the TV series Rake, which has become a very popular series.
It is directed by Marko Mustac, who is also a talented actor and stand up comedian with many years of successful shows to be proud of. David and Marko appeared together in the hilarious Comedy show Oddfellows which was part of the Sydney Fringe Festival in 2013.
When I received an invitation to see a Comedy about an ex- ASIO Spy turned comedian I wasn't sure what to expect but as I love comedy and live theatre I was keen to go. The location for the show is at the Giant Dwarf Theatre at 199 Cleveland Street, Redfern. Previously known as Performance Space. From the outside it could be easily missed but for a side door with simple signage.
This venue is in a rather old large terrace type building that had been converted into performance space and bar area inside and outside. A touch of Italian renaissance style decor with high dark ceilings, red painted walls, blacked timber flooring, gold gilded chairs with brocade patterned upholstery. The use of lamp lighting created a fairly intimate theatre atmosphere.
I managed to get a quick pic of the stage and room before the crowd were all seated. The set itself was minimalistic presenting one desk, chair and hanging wardrobe, with suitable spot lighting to create the intimacy required for the audience to focus on the one man show.
In the first half of this 2 set performance David Callan enters the dimly lit stage dressed in a dinner suit to the sound of James Bond movie track. His character transforms using a hyperbolic impersonation of what we all seem to think a spy to be.
This entrance was so well done that he had the audience immediately in fits of laughter which increases as David's impersonation unfolds. Next he paints a hilarious picture verbally and physically of ASIO and why he chose to apply to join them.
He moves through his recruitment phase from his first lowly position he was appointed to and to what position he eventually ended up in and why. There is also plenty of jibes involving the politics of today that will have your sides splitting in laughter.
But it doesn't just stop there. He continues to amuse with politically inspired skits made to soar by the musicality of his different accents in his impersonations of the world's political leaders. He even breaks out in song and I have to say David has a great singing voice too. I think quite a few females and maybe males were swooning at his voice and good looks.
My personal favourite stand out moment was a skit about the ASIO guards and gags about their character. It would be hard to just stick to one favourite skit here. David's delivery is pumping hot but superbly controlled with each punchline timed perfectly.
The enjoyable frisson of excited energy from David's first entrance on the stage continues through to the end and there is mass appeal clearly shown for his very clever performance. Proving David is a performer who is acutely aware of his audience and in full of control of the room from start to finish. The quality of David's writing doesn't falter either. None of his set pieces outstay their welcome it all just flows.
'I SPIED' will have you in stitches of belling grabbing laughter from beginning to end. This is one show you don't want to miss.