Review of Boeing Boeing - Darlington Hippodrome
By Andrew Harrison - Arts critic
PARIS, 1962 in a penthouse flat in Paris and Bernard, John Dorney, has a very unusual life, but it appears he has everything running smoothly, with three fiancées – Gloria, Isabel Della-Porta, Gabriella, Nathalie Barclay, and Gretchen, Jessica Dennis, all of them flight attendants for different airlines, on different routes, with different timings. Bernard has everything working to perfection with his flight timetables and his long-suffering maid Bertha, Jo Castleton, who changes the photographs and makes sure the correct food is ready for each fiancé, keeping them unaware of each other’s existence. Everything changes with the prospect of a new faster jet, a storm and the arrival of an old school friend, Robert, Paul Sandys.
The script brilliantly sets up the farce in Bernard’s ‘perfect life’, before his world falls apart as we enjoy his downfall. The cast work so well together especially John Dorney and Paul Sandys. John, brings an almost Basil Fawlty feel to his performance, larger than life, as we feel his anguish, enjoying every minute. He doesn’t take it over-the-top, just the right amount of silliness. The set by Bek Palmer shows the penthouse flat perfectly with the arrangement of doors ready for the swift farcical movement, but at the same time looks like an aircraft instrument, showing the three fiancées’ flightpaths across the skies.
Fast paced, split second timing with the doors makes for a highly entertaining evening.
Runs until Saturday 30th July