Extra Ordinary is a show about very ordinary things like going to K-Mart or walking down the street or seeing an insect, but Woodley takes these everyday, commonplace occurrences and turns them into extraordinary events.
His performance is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud.
Woodley approaches the audience with his personable, charismatic, slightly manic and nervous manner, which captivates and has us keenly anticipating where his anecdotes will lead. He is a master at telling a tale and deviating from the path as if he has had a spontaneous thought.
He begins by explaining he has written a play about Shakespeare and then he weaves in and out of a series of mesmerising stories about his child’s school play, spin-bowling, white wigs, buying female underwear and myriad other seemingly unrelated topics until he finishes back with the play.
Woodley’s facial expressions are hysterical, his body elastic, his timing superb, and his observations of human behaviour as sharp and funny as ever. He has the knack, in a room full of people, of making each individual feel as if he is talking to them personally. You feel like responding to his rhetorical questions – partly to help the poor fellow out, but also because he creates a comfortable environment in which you feel very much at home with him.
Woodley takes an idea and explores it, works it, pushes it and then takes it a bit further.
It was great to see a wide range of ages in the audience, but particularly the large number of younger people. Frank Woodley is reaching a new generation and let’s hope that they – and we – get to see him for the next 30 years.
Frank Woodley – Extra Ordinary is at the Arts Theatre until February 21. He is also performing a children’s show, Noodlenut, in the Garden of Unearthly Delights on February 20 and 21.