Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Boeing Boeing at the Lace Market Theatre -a review.

Boeing Boeing by Marc Carmoletti and performed by the Jakobus Theatre from Karlsruhe rocked the Lace Market Theatre stage last night. It is a joyous romp!
Any concerns that it would all be in German were quickly thrown out of the window by the arrival on stage of the main character Bernard seen as an older man (an appealing performance in English by Bernd Hefer). Hefer talks retrospectively about events that happened twenty years ago and in doing so cleverly introduces the characters and briefly gives us a flavour of the comic events about to unfold from his memories. He returns three times to continue the retrospective.

In the first scene we discover a younger Bernard, a wealthy architect, at breakfast with Janet an air steward from the USA. The handsome Bernard is played with great charm and devilish wit by Carsten Thein and he is happily enjoying his passionate relationship with Janet until the arrival of Robert – an old school friend. Almost immediately Robert is smitten by the lovely and sexily confident Janet performed beautifully by Magdalena Meier and thus begins one of the many songs in English that carry the story along, gives variety, and enhances the play for the English audience.

After Janet leaves for her next flight Bernard tells the gullible Robert - played to comic perfection by Markus Künstler – of his love triangle of three air stewardesses, Janet from the USA, Jacqueline from Air France and Nadja from the Russian Aeroflot. Initially Robert believes this deception to be amoral but his head is quickly turned when he finds himself involved with the three beautiful women himself and is often out of his lustful depth. But true love never does run smooth, especially in this popular farce.

Added to the crazy mix is Bernard's housekeeper Bertie - a wonderfully controlled and realistic performance by Ute Wilde. Complicit with Bernard's philandering ways Wilde tries to set the stage with new props giving the illusion that Bernard only has one lady in his life. With the stress of the various air stewards comings and goings, now speeded up and out of Bernard's control with the advent of the faster Boeing 747s, she takes to drink and flirts with the hapless Robert. And so continues the hilarious chaos as yet another stunning girl enters in the shape of Air France stewardess, Jacqueline. Jacqueline is performed by Hannah Schwall with stylish sang-froid.

The main cast of six from Jakobus theatre are very talented actors and their love of this show shines through every madcap second they are on stage. The half dozen songs such as “That's Why The Lady Is A Tramp”, “Come Fly With Me” and “Someone To Watch Over Me” are competently done and work very well within the structure of the play. The choreography, be it through dance or movement is spot on. If one were to single out the performance of the evening it would have to be Lisa Bossert's Nadja. Bossert makes her character – uniformed in fiery red – a dynamo of lust and Russian temperament and does so with great comic effect!

In true farcical style the characters are flying in and out of doors with perfect timing and the brave German company are supremely confident in handling the amorous clinches as well entertaining the audience with their high quality acting and great theatrical physicality. It is spoken in German but the mainly English audience at Nottingham's Lace Market Theatre laughed throughout and lapped up the farcical antics. On leaving the theatre I over heard one member of the audience asking if the group were professionally paid actors. Boeing Boeing is directed with panache by Andreas Rüdenauer.This is part of an amateur twinning event between the Lace Market Theatre and two amateur theatre's in Karlsruhe and their standards are extremely high. They should be very proud of this show at the Lace Market Theatre and I look forward to Till Eulenspiegel by the Theater Die Käuze, later in the week

Boeing Boeing performs Monday 14th April and twice on Tuesday 15th April.

Till Euelnspeigel performs Wednesday 16th April and twice on Thursday 17th April.

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