Sean Power (actor)

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Sean Power
Sean Power
Born (1974-11-01) 1 November 1974 (age 42)
Occupation Actor
Stage director
Years active 1993-currently

Sean Power is an American actor, writer and director. Power has resided in Canada, the United States, Ireland and the United Kingdom. He is probably best known for his role as Marty in the BBC comedy series Lead Balloon and for creating his role as the beat poet 'Jack' in David Rubinoff's Stuck.


Sean Power was raised in Canada, The United States, and Ireland[1] and, in 1989, was accepted into The National Theatre School of Canada.[2] He trained there three years with Pierre Lebvevre, Perry Schneiderman, Brigit Panet, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, George F. Walker, and Robert Lepage.[3]



Power had his professional theatrical debut playing Demetrius in Joe Dowling's adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream on the mainstage of the Stratford Festival in Canada, in which he acted opposite Colm Feore.[2][4]

Power created the role of beat poet 'Jack' in David Rubinoff's Stuck,[5] the one man show in which he starred and dramaturged.[6] Stuck was critically acclaimed[2] in New York,[7][8] Dublin,[9] [10] Toronto,[11] and London.[2][12]
Stuck was the recipient of CAA Chalmers Literary Award (Theatre Passe Muraille) in 1998,[2] 'Best New Play' 1997 and 'Best Actor' Toronto Fringe Festival 1996,[2][2][13] 'Best Actor' nomination Dublin Fringe Festival 2001,[2][14] and nominationed for the Canadian Dora Awards[2] and Canadian Olivier Award.[2]

In Dublin Sean performed in 12 Angry Men,[2] and in New York City while at La MaMa,[2] he wrote and directed Lady/Speak/Easy,[15] set in Harlem and based on the life and music of Billie Holiday. With a 12 member cast, and 5 musicians it enjoyed a sell-out run. Some musicians involved in the show were: Bemshi Shearer (as Lady Day), bass player Theo Wilson (son of Billie's piano player Teddy Wilson), Jeremy Pelt on Trumpet, Ed Swanston (ex-piano for Louis Armstrong), Kalil Madi (ex-drummer for Billie Holiday) and Michael 'smallchange' Johnson, who was also musical director.[16]

Critical response[edit]

As David Rubinoff's Stuck toured internationally, Power received praise for his work as 'Jack', the character he created and dramaturged for the play.[2] His performance in Dublin met with the approval of reviewer Tom Grealis, who wrote in his review of the play:

As Jack, Sean Power gives a tour de force performance, demonstrating a remarkable range. Power explodes across the stage in manic mayhem (...)[9]

And of Ian Hill of Financial Times, who felt Power's performance contained an uncomfortable reality when he wrote:

I'll tell you one thing, this guy Jack, the Toronto low-life portrayed by Canada-based, Irish-born actor Sean Power in David Rubinoff's monologue Stuck (...) is precisely the last person in the world you'd like to have come sit beside you on the bus, or at the bar.[10]

Randy Gener of The Village Voice said:

(...)Sean Power rivets, matching the disillusioned blasts of bop prosody with leaping exhilaration and singsong vocal dexterity..

Of the Toronto performances, John Attanas of the Off Off Broadway Review wrote:

As Jack, Sean Power was wonderful. Possessing both a powerful voice and a nimble body, he played the role passionately and convincingly. He was a pleasure to watch, and clearly has a future on both the American as well as the Canadian stage.[11]

Vit Wagner of The Toronto Star said:

The combination of intensity and slovenly nihilism that Power brings to the role of Jack is a perfect complement to Rubinoff's prose.

Paul Vale of The Stage, granted that while Stuck did not break new ground, he could still recommend as a piece of interesting theater. Of Power's performance, he wrote:

He paints the picture of Jack’s world with such a subtle undercurrent of pain and longing hidden behind the comedy routine of the stoned, out-of-work actor. Stuck may break no new ground as such but it showcases Power’s talent and vulnerability superbly.[12]

Of the production of Lady/Speak/Easy The New Yorker said:

A seductive evening in a speakeasy with Billie Holiday. The house is set up as a night club, where a seasoned band of jazz performers plays music of a quality rarely heard in the theatre. Sean Power's script is cleverly structured so that Holiday's patter from the mike alternates with bits of gossip passed on by other characters - friends, lovers, managers - and the audience gets a sense of Holiday's life without any of the distracting speeches or flashbacks common to this kind of show. It is, of course, a sad evening in the end, but there's a fierce energy and intelligence running through the production that makes you understand Holiday's desire and her gift, as well as her pain. Bemshi Shearer, as Holiday, is ravishing, and the rest of the cast are up to her standard (Kwana Martinez does a brilliant comic turn as a cigarette girl with ambitions).

Film & television[edit]

Among Power's first television roles were in Life with Mikey and Joe's Wedding.[17] He followed in 2004 as Vince in the RTÉ series The Big Bow Wow, and, in 2005, as Garth O'Hara in the Irish soap opera Fair City, more recently being known for his role as Marty, in which he starred opposite Jack Dee in the BBC comedy series Lead Balloon.[18][19][20]



  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Stuck, The London premiere of the New Your, Toronto and Dublin hit". Finbourough Theatre. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  3. ^ "1992 Alumni". National Theatre School of Canada. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  4. ^ Brantley, Ben (September 10, 1993). "Critic's Notebook; Where the Ages Meet, and Sometimes Collide". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  5. ^ "Off-Off Broadway". New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. 30 (31): 66. August 18, 1997. ISSN 0028-7369. 
  6. ^ Plays international. Chancery Publications Ltd. 1995. pp. Page 37. 
  7. ^ Gener, Randy. "Review archives". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  8. ^ Gener, Randy (March 11, 1997). "Four Gay Plays: What's Lust Got To Do With It?". The Village Voice. pp. archive. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  9. ^ a b Grealis, Tom. "Review of Stuck's Dublin showing". RTÉ Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  10. ^ a b Hill, Ian (February 1, 2003). "REVIEW: Stuck - a flowing piece of gritty theatre.". Financial Times Ltd. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  11. ^ a b Attanas, John. "review of STUCK". The Off Off Broadway Review. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  12. ^ a b Vale, Paul (April 21, 2005). "review of Stuck". The Stage. Retrieved 2009-05-10. 
  13. ^ "Struck, 1996". Toronto Fringe Festival. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  14. ^ "The Show: Stuck". RTÉ Entertainment. April 8, 2003. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  15. ^ "La Mama presents Lady Holiday". New York Amsterdam News. February 9, 2000. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  16. ^ Moore, Heidi W. "Lady Day Speaks". Atomic Magazine. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  17. ^ "Sean Power partial filmography". All Movie Guide. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  18. ^ Byrne, Ciar (January 26, 2006). "Dee writes BBC's answer to 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  19. ^ Hall, Julian (November 17, 2006). "Get a BA in comedy: Make them laugh...". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  20. ^ O'Donovan, Gerard (December 12, 2008). "Last night on television: Sold (ITV1) - Lead Balloon (BBC2)". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 

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