This classic farce is set in a time when flying was glamorous and not a means to an end. Bernard (Ben Roddy) lives his life by the book, the book of airline timetables. With this and the help of his maid, Bertha (Anita Graham) he manages a complicated love life with three woman from different airlines, each believing them self to be his only fiancé. This arrangement has worked fine, until now. With the event of faster jets Bernard’s life is set to get more difficult in the future, but not just yet. Bernard extols the virtues of his way of life to a naive old school friend who has come to visit. Philip Stewart is Robert, the hapless school friend who is impressed with the lifestyle, until he gets caught in the middle when the timetable collapses.
The three air hostesses are almost caricatures of their countries, with accents that remain solid throughout (although why Bernard, Robert and Bertha have regional British accents is a little unclear.) Kim Tiddy plays the American who knows what she wants, Ciara Janson, the cute little French lady who is smart but full of a romantic notion of love and Zoie Kennedy as Gretchen, the German air hostess with a split personality that is a joy to watch.
Some of the humour comes from the dry, acerbic comments of Bertha as she battles menu and guest changes at the drop of a hat. There is also physical comedy as Robert and Bernard throw themselves around the stage and make wild gestures behind the backs of the woman to stop the secret being discovered.
This is an enjoyable play for a light hearted, easy night out. It won’t have you rolling in the aisles, but will raise a smile.
- Annette Nuttall