Do people have immutable souls? What makes someone a true father? Can you love a cartoon character as much a human?

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Xavier Michelides. Picture: Lee Griffith/The West Australian

THEATRE
Thawed
Three stars
Black Flamingo
Review: Ben Anderson

Do people have immutable souls? What makes someone a true father? Can you love a cartoon character as much a human?

Thawed, a one-man show starring former WA Raw Comedy winner Xavier Michelides, entertainingly asks these questions but ultimately fails to answer them.

Set in the future, Michelides begins the show as Peter, a cartoon-loving party supply salesman who is preparing for the biggest night of his life.

His boss is hosting a dinner party and the guest of honour is Walt Disney, who has recently been thawed from cryogenic storage.

Just as Peter is about to leave, his sister Jane calls to tell him his father has died for the fifth time but since the family can no longer afford the cryogenic resurrection procedure, tomorrow's funeral will be "for real".

Peter chooses to meet his childhood hero instead flying home to the funeral, allowing Michelides to display his mime and vocal skills as his plays every guest at the dinner party.

These include a robotic servant who will follow every command literally, a cynical drunk named Fred and the newly-thawed Disney, who is struggling to cope with his new surroundings.

When Fred reveals secret behind the cryogenic process, Peter is forced to question whether the person they bought back really is Walt Disney.

Michelides is an engaging stage presence who is able to take on multiple characters by altering his stance or voice.

It is a rare skill to be able to play both parts of a conversation, let a lone a whole dinner party, but the former Big Hoo Haa member rises to the occasion.

Sadly this talent is wasted on a script that seems to be one final draft short of the finished product.

While a show that lasts a little more than half an hour does have its attractions, it would have benefited from another five minutes to resolve some of the metaphysical quandaries raised.