Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Lano and Woodley in Fly, April 3, 2018 ****1/2


Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne, until April 22 (later, Hamer Hall, Aug 10 & 11). 
Star Review: ****1/2
Australian act
Reviewer: Kate Herbert

 Review also published in Herald Sun online, Wed April 4, 2018 and in print on Thurs April 5, 2018. KH
Lano and Woodley
Get ready to hold onto your aching sides, because Lano and Woodley are still ridiculously funny and idiotic in Fly, their much-anticipated reunion show after 12 years apart.

Colin (Lano) is determined to stage a serious bit of theatre, a play about the flying Wright brothers, but Frank (Woodley) keeps tilting the show into the 'stupid, silly nonsense' for which Lano and Woodley are renowned, and which the crowd is slavering to see.

In front of a gloriously complex wall of geometric design (Charles Davis), eclectic projections (Neil Sanderson) and exploding lights (Verity Hampson), this beloved comic duo frolics from one madcap idea to another, creating their signature style of comedy mayhem.

Wearing a smoking jacket and tasseled hat, Colin narrates his play like an earnest BBC host, but repeatedly interrupting his artsy plan are bursts of electrocution, silly songs about the Wright brothers’ dead boring lives, or spontaneously erupting tunes from The Lion King.

Meanwhile, Frank keeps hilariously, and possibly unintentionally, sabotaging Colin’s arty ambitions, by deviating from the script with references to the duo’s ‘break up’, the Jeff Goldblum film, The Fly, and other horror movies that he recreates with spooky sound effects from the audience.

Lano and Woodley’s slapstick comedy is almost vaudevillian in style, and they are masters of cunning reincorporation, hilarious put-downs, and the endless postponement of gags and payoffs, all of which have the audience cheering and howling with laughter.

There’ll be no more spoilers here, but it is hard to spoil such an eccentric, screwball performance by two of our greatest virtuosos of comedy. Welcome back, lads!

PS: Colin, you have created a ‘beautiful’ piece of theatre!

By Kate Herbert

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