French farce is fun
TOWNSVILLE Little Theatre’s latest offering, Boeing Boeing by Marc Camoletti, is a French farce set in 1960s Paris.
It’s about a philandering architect, Bernard ( Damien Jackson), who has three fiancees on the go at the same time.
Each is a hostess for a different international airline and he has to juggle their arrivals, overnight stays and departures through judicious planning with the international flight schedule to ensure they never meet.
When his old professor Robert ( Eric Blyth) turns up to visit, Bernard very proudly shows off his wicked ways, until a combination of bad weather and the impending introduction of the new, faster Boeing aircraft cause his immaculately timed world to begin to collapse.
The three hostesses, Jacqueline from Air France ( Julie Johnston) Judith from Lufthansa ( Carola Weidner) and Janet from TWA ( Sophie Stewart) are all excellent in their roles, really look the part and carry off their accents with ease. The final cast member is beautifully played by Teri Thorne as the much put- upon and exasperated housekeeper Bertha.
Being a French farce, doors closing as others open, double entendres and telephone calls are mandatory.
Timing is the key in this type of play and the cast did a good job to keep the audience laughing loudly throughout.
Director Marc Weston can be well satisfied with his work in bringing this play to the stage.
It was unfortunate that, due to circumstances outside everyone’s control, the actor who was to play Robert had to pull out less than a week before opening.
It is a tribute to Eric Blyth that he jumped into the role at such short notice and, despite having to use palm cards for the lines, made a good fist of the part. It did lead to a certain unevenness in some scenes, but that did not spoil the audience’s enjoyment.
Damien Jackson gave a convincing performance and made the audience believe a man could really juggle three women at once, at least for a time.
His transformation into a nervous wreck as his world crumbled around him was well handled.
The set design and costuming were quite outstanding and true to the period, for this is a play rooted firmly in the swinging ’ 60s.
It’s a “sexy comedy” but it contains nothing that will offend anyone.
It certainly has some faults with flow and timing, but this should improve as the season progresses.
If the opening night audience was an indication, you should make the effort to see it.
GOOD SHOW: The cast of Boeing Boeing Eric Blyth, Carola Weidner, Teri Thorne, Sophie Stewart, Julie Johnston and Damien Jackson.