Saturday, October 06, 2007

West End Wonder

Boeing Boeing at the Comedy is miraculous farce. It made me heave with laughter. The cast is sensational - Jennifer Ellison was a revelation, so was Elena Roger, well they all were - and the whole experience of seeing something done as well as it's possible to do can't fail to lift the spirits.

The mechanics of the plot - a Parisian architect simultaneously engaged to three air-hostesses - contains all the jokes that can (and are) wrung out of it in a production that, despite the age of the script, sounds as fresh as a daisy.
Not, of course, that humour rooted in sixties attitudes towards the sexes and national stereotypes would disturb me, of all people, but it's interesting to see how well it works on audiences in the more PC times we live in now. Probably this is due to the strength given to the female roles, who are shown looking rather pityingly on the mens' plight as the plot unwinds to its predictably inevitable conclusion of all three fiances being in the apartment at the same time.

It's a satisfyingly familiar set - a panelled, white-painted semi-circle with plenty of doors for people to rush in and out of and hide behind. Even the Barcelona Chairs are in on the joke. Mood music comes from French cover-versions of contemporary pop favourites, so there's even the bonus of the Gallic inability to do rock and roll to have a smug chortle over, as well.

The West End theatre scene is a National Treasure. It should be on the NHS.
Shame this is yet another revival, though. It seems that only shows with a hoary pedigree run long enough to make their angels a return on their money. With Sound of Music, Grease and Joseph pulling the punters in on the back of cringe-making telly; Fiddler, Cabaret and Buddy clocking up over 100 years between them; the movie spin-offs and the Juke Box musicals - all-new and original clearly isn't box-office any more. Never mind. Nothing wrong with nostalgia. This show is bound to tour... a must see.


mountainear said...

Hmm. From the sub-sub-sublime to the....sorry even the thought of west end theatre as Nat Treasure material doesn't have me rushing for tickets.

Glad you're back.

All Shook Up said...

Oh get yourself a day return and go, mountainear. A regular dose of lowbrow fun does everybody good!

mountainear said...

OK. Point taken. And I promise not to fidget too much.