Lano and Woodley perform in Newcastle at Civic Theatre on Friday and Saturday, March 9 and 10

We were once in a Virgin plane when a hostess, after landing, said something like this: “Congratulations, you’ve made it back safely after flying 10,000 metres high in the sky in a tubular capsule made of metal”.

This is what we thought about when we heard comic duo Lano and Woodley had a new show about flying.

They’re coming to Newcastle this week to perform the show, titled Fly, which is a tribute to the Wright brothers.

Orville and Wilbur Wright developed the first successful airplane in 1903.

“It seemed like the perfect subject for a Lano and Woodley show,” Lano said.

“Two of the most brilliant minds in history, doing a show about the Wright brothers. It just made sense.”

Asked if he liked or disliked flying, Lano said: “Let’s put it this way, I’m very grateful that I can travel from one place to another with such miraculous speed.

“But if there was a cafe a half-hour drive from my place, where you lined up for half an hour and then sat in a cramped seat facing the back of another chair, wedged between two people you didn’t know, and ate little containers of whatever food they brought you, and drank tea from paper cups, I probably wouldn’t go to it”.

Asked about their comic heroes, Woodley nominated Lano.

Lano nominated Spike Milligan.

Woodley: “Oh, I thought we were gonna say each other … as a sort of … mutual support thing”.

Lano: “Did you?”

Woodley said laughter helped “wash away our anxieties”.

“I think it fulfils a similar function to crying, but you can laugh a lot more frequently without seeming unhinged,” he said.

Without humour, where would we be?

“In a goth's diary,” Lano reckons.

So we need humour in life. But life can be serious.

“It’s important to know when to be jokey and when to be serious,” Woodley asserted.

“Don’t cry over spilt milk. But equally, don’t laugh if the person spilt the milk into the control panel at a nuclear power plant.” 

When he’s on stage and people are laughing, Lano said: “I imagine it’s a bit like surfing a 30-foot wave”.

“It’s exhilarating, but you sense that if you stop concentrating for a moment, the fun could turn into a humiliating dumping very quickly,” he said.

Lano and Woodley will perform Fly at Newcastle’s Civic Theatre on Friday at 7.30pm and Saturday at 5pm and 7.30pm. Tickets at

Flying High

Speaking of flying, Topics hears the Australian Light Aircraft Championships will be held in the Hunter on March 23 and 24.

Royal Newcastle Aero Club at Broadmeadow after World War II.

Royal Newcastle Aero Club at Broadmeadow after World War II.

This is a big deal for the area's aviators.

“People will be flying in from all over for the event,” Royal Newcastle Aero Club life member and historian Bill Hitchcock said.

Bill said the aero club, based at Rutherford, was 90 years old this year. Funnily enough, Bill will be 90 this year, too.

He said the club’s airfield was originally at Broadmeadow, where the Newcastle Jets and Newcastle Knights play their matches.

“It was one of the first airfields in Australia,” he said.

The airfield opened in 1928, but was moved from Broadmeadow in 1962.

Bill also mentioned that former Newcastle lord mayor John Tate is now the club’s president.

“John has been a pilot and member of the aero club for years,” he said.

“I think he’ll be a really good president.”