★★★ | Boeing, Boeing – Sheffield Crucible Theatre
Bernard thinks he has the perfect life living in Paris. He is engaged to three Air Hostesses, and uses the flight timetables to keep them apart and make them think that each of them is his one and only. As the three women in his life fly out to America, Germany and Italy, he ensures that his love life runs smoothly. But when the flights don’t adhere to the timetable one evening, Bernard finds his perfect life falling apart, as each of his three fiancés turn up at the home that they think they share with Bernard. With the help of his best friend, Robert, and his long suffering maid, Bertha, can Bernard keep them apart and maintain not only the facade, but also his love life?
Sheffield Theatres present this revival of this 1960’s based, comedic, farcical play by Marc Camoletti. The feel of the piece was very reminiscent of the sitcoms of the late 70’s,having shades of the more subtle comedy of George and Mildred and, by contrast, bearing a very strong resemblance to the physical style of comedy in “Fawlty Towers” – the chaotic, panicked and increasingly complicated means of attempting to keep an escalating situation under control. There were also hints of more recent sitcom “Miranda”, with people entering and exiting the stage in quick succession.
The cast of six held the audience’s attention with good delivery of the script’s one liners and some great comic timing. Notable cast members were Joseph Kloska who appealed with an animated performance as Robert, the nervous, flustered and naïve best friend. Lizzie Winkler was excellent as the intense German air hostess, Gretchen and Julia Deakin delivered all the best lines with an understated performance as Bertha, the long suffering and sardonic maid.
Sheffield Theatres ably demonstrate why they have twice been awarded Regional Theatre of the Year with another quality production. The 60’s based set was simple but looked impressive, with its orange patterned wall paper and olive green sofa being very sixties chic. The stage was very well lit and the use of bold colour in both the set and the lighting looked impressive. The sound in the theatre was crisp and easily audible, and the costumes were great, in particular the air hostess uniforms, which looked absolutely beautiful, rounding off the high production values of the show.
The show was a smart blend of physical comedy and a witty script and the audience found the whole thing very funny, with plenty of laughter echoing around the theatre throughout the evening.
Boeing Boeing is currently playing at Sheffield Crucible Theatre until 7th June 2014. Details, trailer and booking details can be found at http://www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk/event/boeing-boeing-14/
In between visits to the theatre, watching films, photography, walking, scuba diving and singing (badly); Paul writes for TheGayUK.