Boeing-Boeing (play)

Boeing-Boeing (play)

Infobox Play
name = Boeing-Boeing
writer = Marc Camoletti
characters = Robert
setting = Bernard's apartment, Paris, France
premiere = 10 December 1960
place = Théâtre de la Comédie-Caumartin, Paris
orig_lang = French
subject =
genre = Comedy; farce
awards = Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play

"Boeing-Boeing" is a classic French farce by Marc Camoletti. The English version of the play is translated by Beverley Cross.

The original London production of the play opened at the Apollo Theatre in 1962 and transferred to the Duchess Theatre in 1965, running for a total of seven years. [Rothstein, Mervyn. [ "Flying High",], June 8, 2008] In 1991, the play was listed in the "Guinness Book of Records" as the most performed French play throughout the world.


* Bernard – a Parisian architect and Lothario
* Bertha – Bernard's Housekeeper
* Robert – Bernard's old schoolchum
* Gabriella – the Italian fiancée
* Gloria – the American fiancée
* Gretchen – the German fiancée

Bernard, a successful Parisian architect, juggles three flight attendant fiancées: an American (Gloria), and Italian (Gabriella) and a German (Gretchen). He tracks their airlines' timetables, and his long-suffering housekeeper, Bertha, reluctantly resets the menus and bedroom decor depending on the arrivals and departures. Bernard has been successful at convincing each girl that she is the only one. Bernard's old school friend Robert arrives unexpectedly, and Bernard proudly explains to his wide-eyed visitor how he makes his busy romantic schedule run smoothly. He also has a fallback plan for keeping his fiancées separate, involving his country house. Unfortunately for Bernard, a new, faster Boeing jet has been introduced, changing the timetable. Weather delays occur, and complications arise when the girls' behavior does not match Bernard's careful planning.

Robert steps in to help Bernard by keeping one or more of the girls busy as they arrive ahead of (or behind) schedule. It becomes more and more difficult for Bernard, Bertha and Robert to keep the girls separate once they all arrive, and the lies told become more and more difficult to reconcile. Bertha is exhausted and threatens to quit. Eventually, the situation is combed out, with Robert becoming involved with the forceful Gretchen, Bernard keeping the feisty Gabriella, and the independent Gloria leaving to find a more pliable husband.

The plot runs parallel to "The Captain's Paradise" (1953), where the protagonist is a seafaring captain with many affairs.


The play was produced on Broadway at the Cort Theatre from February 1, 1965, closing on February 20, 1965, after 23 performances. Directed by Jack Minster, the cast included Ian Carmichael, Susan Carr, Diana Millay and Gerald Harper.

The play was adapted by W!LD RICE production in Singapore in 2002. It was directed by Glen Goei, Glen and the company revisited, modernized, and relocated this classic comedy to Asia and the present day, whilst keeping faithful to the text and the spirit of the play. The three air hostesses's nationalities were changed to Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. The show starred Lim Yu-Beng, Pam Oei, Emma Yong, Chermaine Ang, Sean Yeo & Mae Paner-Rosa. []

The most recent Paris revival enjoyed a long-running success at Theatre Michel.

"Boeing-Boeing" was revived in London in February 2007 at the Comedy Theatre. It once again proved to be a hit with critics and audiences alike. The original cast of the production featured Roger Allam as Bernard, Frances de la Tour as Bertha, Mark Rylance as Robert, and Tamzin Outhwaite, Daisy Beaumont and Michelle Gomez as Bernard's three fiancées, Gloria, Gabriella and Gretchen. This production received two Olivier Award nominations, for Best Revival and Best Actor (Mark Rylance), but won neither. [ [ listing and production notes] ]

Warchus also directed the Broadway revival which started previews on April 19, 2008 and opened on May 4, at the Longacre Theatre to good reviews. [cite news | author=Ben Brantley | title=Up, Up and Away (and Watch Those Swinging Doors | url= | work=The New York Times | date=2008-05-05 | accessdate=2008-08-11] The cast features Christine Baranski as Bertha, Mark Rylance, reprising his role as Robert, Bradley Whitford as Bernard, Gina Gershon as Gabriella, Mary McCormack as Gretchen and Kathryn Hahn as Gloria. The curtain call of this revival was choreographed by Kathleen Marshall with original music by Claire van Kampen. [Sommer, Elyse. [ "Boeing, Boeing Flies Its Daffy Lovers to Broadway",], May 8, 2008]

The 2008 Broadway revival won the Best Leading Actor for Mark Rylance and Best Revival of a Play, and was nominated for several other Tony Awards including: Best Featured Actress (Mary McCormack), Best Director (Matthew Warchus), Best Costume Design (Rob Howell), and Best Sound Design (Simon Baker). The production won the Drama Desk Award for outstanding revival of a play, and Mark Rylance won for lead actor in a play. [cite news | author=Lawrence Van Gelder | title=Drama Desk Awards | url= | work=The New York Times | date=19 May 2008 | accessdate=2008-08-11]


2007 West End revival

2008 Broadway

[Jones, Kenneth. [ "Two New Stews: Davis and Gayheart to Climb Aboard Broadway's Boeing",], Sept. 29, 2008]


*"Boeing Boeing" 1960 French film
*"Boeing Boeing" 1965 film starring Jerry Lewis, Tony Curtis and Thelma Ritter
*"Boeing Boeing" 1985 film in Malayalam, starring Mohan Lal
*"Garam Masala" 2005 film in Hindi.


* [ Apollo Theatre history]

Further reading


External links

* [ Official Broadway site]

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