Sean Collins

Sean Collins

Sean Collins began comedy in 1990 in Vancouver, Canada, after a career as a child counsellor on the psychiatric unit at a local hospital. He has appeared at Montreal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival in 1998 and 2002.

He now works largely in the UK and made his Edinburgh debut in 2005.

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Sean Collins at the 2010 Glasgow Comedy Festival

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Steve Bennett

Sean Collins has been around the block a few times. But in comedy, that’s an asset, not an insult. It means a life lived, and a wealth of stories to tell, from surreal gigs in far-flung outposts of his native Canada and drug yarns that are actually worth spinning, to more up-to-date contemplations on his new life at 43, settled in Britain, with a two-and-a-half year-old son.

He seems a little disappointed in the turnout for his Glasgow comedy festival show – about 50 have shown up – but what’s bad for his bank balance is good for intimacy, suiting his laid-back style far better than a bustling comedy club.

He discards the microphone, pulls up a stool and a pint, and slowly regales this chilled-out, lateish audience with the benefit of his experience. All that’s really missing to complete the atmosphere is a campfire, but doubtless the Stand’s management would frown on such a thing.

‘I go this slow because of years of marijuana abuse,’ he says, anticipating any complaint, but none would be forthcoming, as the laid-back vibe is infectious.

Pithy jokes aren’t on the agenda here, and he dodges most the clichés even when talking about well-trodden topics such as the strains of fatherhood or his adventures with narcotics. These are personal anecdotes, backed up with wry observation, so of course no one else is going to have the same material or approach. That he takes his time only adds to the effectiveness of his confessional tales, as the evocative and entertaining story of his water-skiing exploits demonstrates conclusively.

Brief mention is made of a few other incidents in his life – the paederastic piano teacher he had as a boy, or a brief stint behind bars – just enough to extract a few laughs, not enough to be uncomfortable. Collins doesn’t strive for deep, even though his delivery may be ponderous.

His originally falters when he talks about more generic subjects such as the 2012 London Olympics, but these are the trimmings to his set. The meat is his own life, and how very rich it is.

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Published: 16 Mar 2010

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Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2005

Sean Collins: Truth


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