Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"Boeing Boeing"

If you are a theatre lover, if you have time, a bit of money and the taste of adventure, why not cross the Channel and visit the fabulous city of London! The English capital city offers a huge choice of performances, which delight the London population and tourists. The majority of shows are performed around the same area called Leicester Square. The latter is a well-known touristic place in London, where a lot of box offices sell half-price tickets and where people face long cues. I waited there a long time before deciding amongst dramas, comedies and musicals, to finally pitch for Boeing Boeing, a popular French farce. It’s directed by Matthew Warchus and well valued by all the critics in the UK. It was said to be “by many an airmile the funniest show on the london stage” (Daily Telegraph) and “absolutely terrific” (Time Out). Actually first written and directed in 1960 by the French playwright Marc Camoletti, Boeing Boeing is all around the world the most successfully performed French comedy and is listed for this reason in the Guiness Book of Records. The play casts Bernard, a well-off architect working in Paris, who has three fiancées at the same time. They all work as air hostesses and have different timetables, which allows the bachelor to cope easily with each one of them. His daily task is to ensure that the three fiancées never meet and never discover his deceptions. One day, however, the arrival of the new double speed Super Boeing changes the schedules of the three air hostesses. The three fiancées –unsurprisingly- arrive the same day in Paris, leaving Bernard in a delicate situation where his ingenious system does not work anymore. The rest of the play shows Bernard and his old friend Robert attempting to prevent the three hostesses meeting in the house. The farce ends unexpectedly happily without Bernard paying for his bad behaviour. Though the show was very entertaining, the description of the play as “brilliantly funny” is in my opinion rather exaggerated. The English audience was in fits of laughter most of the time, which made me wonder whether I had understood correctly the actors’retorts! I think the play’s typical English kind of humor, which is essentially first-degree, just isn’t my cup of tea! However, I admired the terrific actors who represented national stereotypes to the perfection. Their talent was obvious and it was a real pleasure to see them performing this French play.

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