Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Boeing Boeing Review, Sarah Jayne Dunn, Susie Blake, 3rd March 2009

Boeing Boeing starring Susie Blake and Sarah Jayne Dunn


(In pictured order left to right)

Gloria - Sarah Jayne Dunn
Robert - John Marquez
Gretchen - Josephine Butler
Bernard - Martin Marquez
Bertha - Susie Blake
Gabriella - Thaila Zucchi

We saw Boeing Boeing on the second night of its 6 day Eastbourne visit and it was encouraging to see a good size audience in attendance.

There's not a lot that can be said about the plot in Boeing Boeing as it's fairly straightforward. One man, Bernard, is engaged to 3 air hostesses at the same time. He has absolutely no intention of marrying any of them. The convenience of them being on different airlines and on completely different timetables ensures they will never meet..................

........... which is of course rubbish because this is a farce and in farce land anything and everthing that can go wrong does.

With many farces there is a gradual build from mildly funny at the beginning to a hilarious ending.

Not with this play however, it is consistently funny throughout and very well acted too.

Sarah Jayne Dunn (ex Hollyoaks) is on stage first with serial hostess addict Martin Marquez.

The hilarious Sarah Jayne, in her red outfit, would fit perfectly into the current TV advert for Virgin Airlines with its emphasis on blond, glamorous air hostesses. Martin who has a long history in theatre and many TV credits to his name plays the (initially) confident and smug womanizer superbly.

Susie Blake is like a duck to water in her role as the "I see everything, but say nothing" misery guts maid, Bertha. She is one of those people who can get a laugh without saying a word - and this happens on many occasions.

Bernard's long lost cousin, the rather dippy, Robert is played by John Marquez who is not only a fine actor but a master of facial expression.

Equally impressive are Josephine Butler as stern German air hostess Gretchen and Thaila Zucchi as the Italian love interest, Gabriella.

This really is a very funny typical farce and credit must go to the play's writer Marc Camoletti and to the translators who did such a fine job of taking this from its native French language to English.

Oh and I almost forgot Boeing Boeing should probably get the award for best curtain call ever. Without saying more I'll leave that experience for the future enjoyment of those who have not seen this funny show.

On the downside? Well for one of the funniest and enjoyable shows we have ever seen at the Devonshire the cast seemed to be one of the least friendly and willing to meet people we've ever experienced.

Granted it was a horrible wet, very cold and windy night but only 3 of us were getting drenched and freezing cold at the stage door. The guy who was there with us was only there because 50% of the cast had failed to show up, the previous night, at the Friends Of The Devonshire Park Theatre first night meet-the-cast opportunity so he had made a special trip. We too belong to the Friends but we rarely attend these events now simply because so many cast members don't show up. It does seem to defeat the object of this membership "perk".

I may be wrong but it did seem that the cast were hanging around at the back of a corridor hoping we would just go away. But despite the wind and cold we persevered and the cast did emerge.

Thailla Zuchi was very pleasant and Sarah Jayne Dunn did kindly sign my programe and another picture I had. However whilst the other cast members did provide autographs they weren't exactly the friendliest bunch ever and one cast member, who gracefully I won't name, I found positively and rather surprisingly "off" and rude. Perhaps 30 seconds of niceness is too much for some in rainy and cold conditions?

Never mind though we return to many a show because of the niceness of cast members we have met before. We won't be rushing back for anything in the future that person is starring in.

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