One of Australia’s favourite double acts re-forms for a reunion like no other
It’s been 12 years since Colin Lane and Frank Woodley last performed together as the wildly popular comedy act Lano and Woodley. They split up back in 2006 after two decades to ensure that their real-life friendship wouldn’t suffer from spending every waking second working together.
It seems the time apart has served them very well: not only is there a new freshness and energy to their act, but their split has also given them a very funny premise that plays directly into their dynamic.
Col has agreed to the reunion on very strict conditions: firstly, he doesn’t want to appear on stage with Frank at any time. He doesn’t want the stress that comes with dealing with Frank’s nonsense, so he’s decided that they must tag-team the show. More significantly, he doesn’t want to do comedy anymore, but a serious play about the Wright brothers inventing the first successful aircraft.
As you can imagine, things don’t quite go to plan as Col’s priggishness again comes into conflict with Frank’s childish wonderment (which is still innocent and joyful, even though he’s now 50 years old). The physical comedy is just as thrilling as it’s ever been – there’s a great bit with an electric shock collar – and they manage to make the 900-seat Playhouse at Arts Centre Melbourne feel very intimate.
Fly is an impressive feat and a wonderfully constructed show. This is no mere cash-grab reunion tour – although I’m sure it will make plenty of money – but a superb and silly showcase for two comedians still very much at the top of their game.
This is a review of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival season of Fly.