Frank Woodley – Possessed ***1/2 (Arts Theatre until Sunday, March 16, 2008)

February 28, 2008

Frank Woodley combines slapstick, stand up, and physical theatre effortlessly. It appears to be as natural to him as breathing. Having worked previously in a trio, then a duo, his venture into solo territory is very pleasing.

In Possessed, we follow the story of a man who becomes possessed by the ghost of an Irish woman who drowned in a shipwreck some 120 years earlier. Our timid, loner hero must suddenly contend with company, cohabitation with a ghost, and dealing with a much more flamboyant and forthright character.

There are many, many pleasing moments of signature “Lano and Woodley” cartoonesque mayhem along with some well set up comedic scenarioes involving our two-in-one characters dealing with intimacy and self-expression.

The simple, fun premise upon which this show is based is just that, simple and fun. It is, however, stretched a little beyond its shelf life to 80 minutes. I would love to see a 60 minute version of this show, allowing Woodley to jettison some repitition and deliver a more concentrated punch.

However, it is an engaging and entertaining show, marking a confident transition to solo performer status.

Read more and book tickets through the Fringe Guide