Having seen a glimpse of Harry Atkinson-Clark’s directing ability at Newcastle University’s Drama Festival in the summer, it came as no surprise that his full NUTS directing debut, Marc Camoletti’s Boeing Boeing, was a huge success.
From the moment Bernard (Jake Hodgkinson) welcomed the audience into his Parisian apartment in the arms of the sassy air hostess Gloria (Annie Niekirk), the laughs were consistent and the jokes well-executed. Hodgkinson’s portrayal of a ‘1960s lothario’ was accurate; as was the performance of his sidekick Robert (Harry Read). Marking his NUTS debut, Read was superb. His great command of the stage and impeccable comic timing accompanied an impressively consistent accent; something left to be desired by some performers, though this never threatened to detract from the overall quality of the performance.
A small cast tackling a pacey, non-stop farce can be a tricky task, but this talented group of actors and actress undertook it with consummate ease. The three airhostesses zipped on and off stage in style, each bringing something different to their roles. For Gabriella (Angela Freire), it was a natural Spanish flare, while Georgia Thomas brought an impressive sultriness to German hostess Gretchen.
The pace rarely lacked, and this ever-popular farce was executed with great precision. As the show reached its climactic episode, all the characters leave satisfied; and I’m confident the audience did too. I, for one, certainly left the venue with an ear-to-ear grin.