Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly Melbourne Times. Kate is a director & playwright (21 plays). Pub. Currency Press. Teacher Scriptwriting 2019, Melb Polytechnic; Worked as actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation, Playwriting. Kate was Head of Drama/Teacher, NMIT; Former Coordinator of Writing/ Editing, Swinburne Uni. Read reviews here or: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer doesn't always work on blog.
Wednesday, 4 April 2018
Lano and Woodley in Fly, April 3, 2018 ****1/2
MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY
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!