1 November 2022, London Marriott Hotel County Hall
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Forty years on and a famous farce returns to the London stage at the Comedy Theatre near Leicester Square. Last time it ran to 2000 performances, a world record, but will this edition carry on that long? ABTN does not think so. It”s funny, but they”ve made one big mistake.
Bernard (Roger Allam), a successful architect living in Paris, thinks he can easily cope with his three air hostess fianc”es (Daisy Beaumont, Michelle Gomez, Tamzin Outhwaite). It is all a question of timetables and a reliable, long-suffering housekeeper (Frances de la Tour) who reluctantly has the role of romantic air traffic controller.
When old school friend Robert (Mark Rylance) arrives, Bernard relishes the chance to show his wide-eyed visitor his first class operation at work. It”s all about using OAG (or ABC from all those years ago) and checking where the ladies are. Unfortunately, schedules change, flights are delayed and a new Boeing jet aircraft is introduced (Bernard: ”My God they are going to arrive earlier!”). Chaos ensues in this hysterical whirl of mayhem and matchmaking. There are of course the obligatory seven doors of the room set up on the stage, with characters popping in and out as the farce develops.
The girls are great with their pseudo accents and we all know about TWA, Alitalia and Lufthansa (zee German lady was wunderbar). But the fellows, playing it in straight English (or in the case of Robert a rural Welsh), would have been much funnier using Allo Allo French. That would have turned a good evening out into something wonderful!