"When glamour ruled the skies"
by Rebecca Wall for remotegoat on 28/09/16

Boeing-Boeing combines a slick Mad Men aesthetic with some genuine laugh-out-loud moments worthy of Molière himself. As the lights go up our hero, Bernard, is locked in the embrace of a blonde bombshell who could give Marilyn Monroe a run for her money. Gloria, however, must dash to the airport, as this American Airlines hostess has a flight to catch...just in time for Alitalia's fiery Gabriella to take her place in Bernard's arms - to the great bewilderment of his childhood friend Robert, freshly arrived in Paris from Aix en Provence. Bernard, we learn, is a man making the most of the golden age of air travel, merrily juggling three stunning fiancées, with the aid of his trusty flight timetable (and his long-suffering housekeeper Bertha). As Gabriella leaves, Lufthansa's Gretchen will take her place, and nothing, he explains, could possibly go wrong...

What follows is a fantastic reversal as fortune, as Bernard's neat compartmentalisation of his triple life comes crashing down, and shy, retiring Robert discovers his own hidden depths. Watching it I felt a wistful nostalgia for a glamorous age long before Easyjet and Ryanair, and a world in which characters pour themselves a Scotch at 11am. All that was missing from the stylish Parisian flat on stage is the misty fog of cigarette smoke (and perhaps a few chants from student barricades) to fully transport me to 1960s Paris. The actors tackled their roles with aplomb, using national stereotypes as a springboard for utter hilarity, and in the case of Bernard and Robert, a believable and likeable friendship. A highly recommended, fun night out.

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