Majumder delivers laughs at Wingham Town Hall Theatre show
BY SCOTT STEPHENSON
Canadian comedian and actor Shaun Majumder brought his Love Tour to the Wingham Town Hall Theatre on Thursday, March 23. The highly-anticipated event did not disappoint, with the funny man delivering a hilarious and heartwarming performance to a hearty audience that showed up ready to laugh. The Newfoundland-raised comedian connected with the crowd through his unique views on married life, being your best self and the strength of his baby’s neck.
Before the show, Josephine Street was a-bustle with soon-to-be chucklers, and nearby dinner hotspots were busy with patrons stricken with pre-show hunger pangs. That energy carried on through the doors of the recently restored Town Hall Theatre, and people were excited as they waited for the show to begin. Some members of the crowd chatted about how it was their first comedy show, while others said they were huge fans of Majumder’s work from as far back as his stint on YTV’s Brainwash in the 1990s.
Majumder's comedic style was a perfect blend of storytelling mixed with physical comedy, topped with a dollop of honesty. His first admission - he’d never heard of Wingham before deciding to do a show there.
He shared stories about his wife Shelby Fenner and their courting days before becoming parents later in life, drawing laughs and nods of recognition from the audience. Majumder's observations on the challenges and joys of raising children were particularly appreciated by the parents in attendance, and his warm and engaging stage presence made the audience feel like they were part of the conversation. Also part of the conversation was a second Shaun Majumder, who appeared on a pre-recorded video to argue about parenting techniques.
He kept the crowd guessing where he was going from moment to moment, resulting in a lot of surprised laughter. One second the comic was opening up about fertility issues and the experience of in vitro fertilization, the next second he presented a classified advertisement selling his infant daughter. The audience was also charmed by Majumder’s tale of his father reconnecting with his long lost love from Germany.
From beginning to end, Majumder's show was a hit with the Wingham crowd, delivering a memorable night of laughter and connection that left everyone astir. After the show, people lingered around the stage, discussing their favourite jokes as dedicated technical crew members set about completing their closing duties. Exiting patrons commented that the show was unforgettable, and fans that only knew him from CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes rejoiced over the unexpected strangeness of his material.
The night was a perfect use of the stately Town Hall Theatre, the restorations of which were completed through the efforts of local volunteers. The people of Wingham were craving a little laughter on Thursday, and the hard work put into restoring this local landmark made that possible. Belgrave-based music teacher Susan Varillas, there to celebrate her birthday, couldn’t have been happier to see the theatre put to such good use, saying, “Absolutely fabulous. Bring him back.” She hopes that the success of this night leads to more frequent use of the theatre, and more varied events, especially ones featuring local and Canadian talent.
Will the smash success of Majumder’s Wingham performance lead to a show business renaissance in the heart of Alice Munro country? Judging by the response of last week’s audience, it may have already begun.