Patricia Hodge will take over from Frances de la Tour as put-upon housekeeper Bertha in Matthew Warchus’ critically acclaimed production of Marc Camoletti’s classic Sixties farce Boeing Boeing at the Comedy Theatre, from 30 April to 23 June 2007.

The farce, which opened on 15 February (previews from 3 February), is currently taking bookings to 20 October 2007 (See News, 16 Mar 2007). Of the current cast Roger Allam, Mark Rylance, Daisy Beaumont and Michelle Gomez are expected to continue in their roles until 23 June. Any further recasting is expected to be announced shortly.

Patricia Hodge was last seen in the West End in Michael Frayn’s classic farce Noises Off. Her extensive theatre credits include The Clean House at the Crucible, Sheffield, His Dark Materials, Money and Summerfolk for the National Theatre, Heartbreak House at the Almeida, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Noel and Gertie and Separate Tables in the West End. On television she has starred in Hustle, Sweet Medicine, The Falklands Play, Rich Tea and Sympathy and Rumpole of the Bailey.

In Boeing Boeing, Parisian architect Bernard (Allam) thought he could easily cope with his three air hostess fiancées. It was all a question of timetables and a reliable, long-suffering housekeeper (Hodge) who reluctantly has the role of romantic air-traffic controller. When old school chum Robert (Rylance) arrives, Bernard relishes the chance to show his wide-eyed friend his first-class operation at work. Unfortunately, schedules change, flights are delayed and a new turbo-charged Boeing aircraft is introduced, causing chaos.

Boeing-Boeing, which originally opened in London in the mid-sixties, held the world record for the longest-running comedy in the West End, playing over 2,000 performances before transferring to Broadway. This production is designed by Rob Howell, with lighting by Hugh Vanstone. It’s presented in the West End by Sonia Friedman Productions, Act Productions, Matthew Byam Shaw, Robert G Bartner and Bob Boyett.

- by Caroline Ansdell