Date: 15 may 2015
Boeing Boeing written by Marc Camoletti and directed by Robin Herford is a superb example of a classic farce.
We’re in Paris and it’s the swinging sixties and Bernard, a batchelor and highly successful Parisian architect is flying by the tail wind of the Jet Age. With three fiancées, who are all air hostesses for different airlines and flying on different routes, he has managed to ensure that only one of the women is ‘at home’ in Paris at any one time. However, with the dawn of newer planes and faster aircraft, Bernard’s carefully timetabled system is put under severe pressure.
When Bernard’s friend Robert, who he hasn’t seen for ten years, arrives unexpectedly – he too is caught up in trying to preserve Bernard’s three-timing secret. Robin Simpson gives a high energy and hilarious performance as he desperately tries to keep each of his fiancées apart.
Under the slick direction of Robin Herford, the cast are all exceptional with impeccable timing and their performances clearly thrive with the laughter from the audience. Ben Porter as the awkward and eccentric Robert and Gilly Tompkins as long-suffering housemaid Bertha, give outstanding performances, working at breathtaking speed as they try to conceal Bernard’s wrongdoing.
The three air hostesses give sterling performances and as one door closes and another one opens – they do not miss a beat. Laura Doddington as the brassy, outspoken American fiancée Gloria and Maeve Larkin as the sophisticated Italian fiancée Gabriella. However, it is Sarah Lawrie who really makes the audience squeal with her interpretation of the manic and passionate German fiancée, Gretchen.
The Oldham Coliseum’s production of Boeing Boeing is glamorous, exhilarating and highly entertaining. And although the plot is arguably quite preposterous, we have to suspend all of our moral sensibility to fully appreciate the absurd setting, exaggerated characters and slapstick comedy. Once you’ve handed in all moral judgement at the box office, prepare to board Boeing Boeing, you will not be disappointed.
Boeing Boeing is on at Oldham Coliseum until Saturday 6th June.