I Spied @ Giant Dwarf

David Callan in his one man show I SPIED. Photo: Geoff Sirmai

I SPIED is truth in advertising. David Callan worked for our esteemed National Security Agency, ASIO, for 7 years. After seeing his one man show tonight, maybe esteemed isn’t the right word to describe the organization. But I’m loath to use the word that springs to mind … they might be listening. He doesn’t give everything away but surely someone has their eye on this guy.

Despite being too tall and good looking to be a surveillance officer, David Callan is a funny man. What possessed him to think that his innately comic view of life was compatible with a career as a spy is well explained in his show. We also get an insight into the absurdities inside an organization which allows a clown to rise to a position of having every generated secret paper pass through his hands for filing. Callan is a clown but not a buffoon. He has a serious point to make about the ASIO he knew.

He makes his feelings known about how this country is protected by blokes like him. His story does include a considerable amount of controlled silliness, from a James Bond entry in a dinner suit to an hilarious riff about how agents get into a building that they are not allowed to be seen going in to. His show incorporates mime, impersonation, stand-up, great acting and a special brand of wit that you have to tune in to. There is a scarily real reproduction of his role in a terrorist simulation and a beautifully realized romantic interlude. But under the well-crafted storyline and clever direction by Marko Mustac is the tale of an escalating need for vigilance inside and outside such a silent powerful force in our daily lives.

There were seven of us went as a group to I SPIED and we all really enjoyed it. I laughed a lot and loudly and I love the venue and the work that Giant Dwarf are facilitating. There was a sad little audience though. More people should see it. Get yourself a trench coat (that should freak him out) and bunch of friends for a funny night out. And don’t worry, he tells you how to lose a tail if anyone is following you home!

I SPIED is playing at Giant Dwarf, 199 Cleveland Street Redfern, November 14-16 & 22-24 at 7.30pm.

For more about I Spied (until they asked me to leave!), visit http://www.giantdwarf.com.au/tickets