Ex­tra dose of Wood­ley

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Tanya MacNaughton

CO­ME­DIAN Frank Wood­ley is ap­pear­ing in Perth this month with his solo show Ex­tra­Or­di­nary, which en­ter­tained au­di­ences at the 30th Mel­bourne In­ter­na­tional Com­edy Fes­ti­val.

IT seems like only yes­ter­day for Frank Wood­ley that he was talk­ing to Richard Fi­dler from Doug An­thony All Stars in awe of them “do­ing com­edy for five years”.

Now it is 30 years later and Wood­ley has just fin­ished a sea­son of his solo show Ex­tra Or­di­nary at the 30th Mel­bourne In­ter­na­tional Com­edy Fes­ti­val; he per­formed at the first fes­ti­val.

“Com­edy is an amaz­ing, un­fil­tered world,” the Mel­bur­nian said. “It’s not fil­tered through any­one else’s opinions and is a very per­sonal ex­pres­sion. You get an amaz­ingly di­verse range of lu­natics ex­press­ing them­selves and I love it.

“And I’m ab­so­lutely cer­tain in the en­tire 30 years of per­form­ing, no one has ever left a show I’ve been in­volved in and mut­tered to the per­son be­side them ‘that was a lit­tle too pol­ished’.

“Ev­ery sin­gle show there is some­thing that hap­pens that sur­prises me and de­rails in some kind of ec­cen­tric way.”

It has been 10 years since Wood­ley am­i­ca­bly parted ways with Colin Lane, with whom he shot to fame as part of the com­edy duo Lano and Wood­ley.

His role in the part­ner­ship was to use his un­bri­dled, en- thu­si­as­tic en­ergy to for­ever sab­o­tage Lane’s ef­forts to put on a show.

He said he strug­gled while per­form­ing solo the first six months af­ter they split.

“I have to be a lit­tle bit more re­spon­si­ble and keep it trav­el­ling along a path,” Wood­ley said.

“As I started to do that, the other thing that emerged was that I talk a bit more about my per­sonal life.

“It’s still very much like a comic char­ac­ter, but for ex­am­ple in this show I’m do­ing now, there’s a bit where I talk about tak­ing my seven-year-old son to a cricket clinic.

“It would have been in­con­ceiv­able with the Lano and Wood­ley model to talk about the fact I had a child. Even though it may still be a chill­ing thought to you, there are (two) chil­dren in my care.”

Wood­ley, who is now author and il­lus­tra­tor of chil­dren’s se­ries Kizmet, will bring Ex­tra­Or­di­nary to the Perth Com­edy Fes­ti­val at Re­gal Theatre on April 28 and 29, and promised his com­edy style was as phys­i­cal as ever.

“I em­brace the fool­ish­ness while I’m per­form­ing, and I can’t ex­plain why but I love to have the au­di­ence laugh­ing at me, not with me,” he said.

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