Damian Callinan

Stress Test

Melbourne Town Hall - Regent Room

As the three-time Barry Award nominee approaches the anniversary of an unscheduled heart attack, Callinan is attached to an electrocardiogram and undergoes a medical stress test. Unbeknownst to him, the test is to be conducted as a live comedy festival show and encompasses probing of all aspects of the heart to ascertain his overall recovery.

 'One of Australia's best character comedians' - Herald Sun

Thrown in the deep end, he is tested on his stocks in trade and, amongst other things, the initial tests reveal that his 1980’s dance skills remain undiminished, he still struggles with the Welsh accent, he’ll never do a show that doesn’t involve gratuitous characters and he retains his ability to add meta concepts to what should be a straightforward storytelling show.

'Powerfully intelligent comedians like Callinan are rare ... one of the country's best performers' – The Age

From here Callinan, a masterful storyteller, handles the rocky terrain with finesse, as he transports the audience out of the medical clinic and into the Action Sports centre, to relive a life changing game of indoor cricket. After Callinan convinces the audience that pockets of this anachronistic 80’s fad still exist, he takes them on his survival journey from the deft leg glance that led to a quick single to Footscray Hospital Emergency.

As he takes the story through his Cardio Rehab, the heart testing takes a different tack as his physical recovery is placed in the context of the scars caused by a family tragedy that has dictated his recent emotional path.

‘Stress Test’ puts Callinan in the driver’s seat of a car he knows how to handle: a biographical storytelling sedan with comedy wheels and a pathos finish.

Callinan has been in a rich vein of form over the past few years culminating in the release of his much lauded feature film ‘The Merger.’ The adaptation of his Barry Award nominated solo show of the same name, was chosen as the Gala Centrepiece at MIFF 2018 and has gone on to receive a swag of nominations & awards including Best Film at Ozflix Independent Film Awards, where Callinan also took out Best Screenplay. In 2019 the film that sees a small country footy club saves itself by recruiting refugees, was an official selection at the Dublin & Glasgow Film Festivals. The AACTA nominated film was also selected by those festivals to be the touring feature with Callinan travelling with the film. This was followed by a DFAT sponsored tour of Australian diplomatic posts throughout Europe.

In 2019, on top of the film touring and his heart attack, Callinan has also managed to fit in writing a junior fiction novel for Penguin Random [Publish Date - July 2020,] played the titular role of ‘Newk’ in Kieran Carroll’s new one man play, a national tour of his acclaimed two hander ‘The Wine Bluffs’ with Paul Calleja and then launched the World Premiere Season of his new play ‘The Hall Committee.’ Written & directed by Callinan, he was also in the ensemble of five as they brought to life the machinations of the fictional Rummage South Memorial Hall. The piece was commissioned by Wagga Civic Theatre and Create NSW. The play was a three year development, culminating in a season touring the small halls of Riverina District of NSW. It will tour more extensively in 2021.

‘Stress Test’ is a return to the one man show format for which Callinan has come to be renowned, so come & be part of the experiment as this prolific comedian, actor and writer takes on the electrocardiogram.

This show is eligible for the Laugh Pack - buy full price tickets to 3 or more eligible different performances in one transaction and get a 10% discount. Excludes Previews, Tightarse Tuesday and Saturday performances.
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