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Boob Boeing: A Review

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#1 Parsley


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Posted 23 February 2007 - 01:08 PM

After the strong play openings so far this year (Equus, The Reporter, John Gabriel Borkman) and after the highly successful and excellent revival of Donkey's Years at the same theatre, my expectations were high for the revival of Boeing-Boeing. A stellar cast, respected director and current vogue for farce all hightened my anticipation. The raft of ecstatic reviews (unfortunately I missed the press night) meant that I ended up seeing this after the critical opinions had been cast. I usually prefer to see a preview or the press night itself. I can only hope that my exacting standards had been artificially elevated due to all these factors.
The play is the most stagnant piece of "comedy" I have ever had the misfortune to sit through. The cast (who are all excellent actors) are wasted on this limpid evening. I was amazed at Tamsin Outhwaite (Hotel Babylon does not exactly flatter the cast) but she was convincing as an American air-hostess. Michelle Gomez was totally annoying, and her overacting cariacture fell totally flat. She lacks any subtlety as an actress and may as well have been in a panto. Mark Rylance and Frances de la Tour, on the other hand, are excellent. The acerbic and sarcastic visions of their characters is a real hoot.
The main problem is the rubbish plot and the extended duration of the evening. The dialogue is stilted and the whole premise of the story is this risque man (Roger Allam may be a terrific actor but he is not convincing as a sex-god who could hold down even one stunning lady, let alone co-ordinate three of them!). The music and staging is all very twee and of the period, but the thing that kept coming round to slap me in the face was the abominable play. There was a reason it ran for so long in the 1960s. Times have changed and we have moved on.
Neither is it funny in the repressed and risque way, say, that has made Carry On or 'Allo 'Allo so enduring. Nor was it a masterpiece of relentless hilarity and comic timing, as was Noises Off. Still further, the plot ending is a damp squib, wheres the dizzying climax to Donkey's Years was unforgettable.
The audience seemed to love it. Perhaps they was easily pleased or do not go to the theatre much. Perhaps they felt obliged to laugh. I was not pleased. Theatre has come leaps and bounds since this stale offering. Time to move on.

#2 Guest_Skylight_*

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 01:49 PM

Sorry in advance to those of you who are fed up of hearing me say this but Parsley do you actually read the board or do you just start a new thread for anything you want to say because you figure your views are so important that they must be at the top of the page?  There is a BB thread already.

#3 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 01:56 PM

I went to see a Ray Cooney a few years ago at The Vaudeville on the back of great reviews and just had to leave at half time. I have a feeling that there is a certain audience for old-style farces and I'm not one of them.

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