Jump to content

Boeing-Boeing (play)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Written byMarc Camoletti
Date premiered10 December 1960
Place premieredComédie-Caumartin, Paris
Original languageFrench
Subject"It all boils down to juggling timetables and a reliable maid who never forgets to change the photographs."
GenreComedy; farce
SettingBernard's apartment, Paris, France

Boeing-Boeing is a farce written by the French playwright Marc Camoletti. The English-language adaptation, translated by Beverley Cross, was first staged in London at the Apollo Theatre in 1962 and transferred to the Duchess Theatre in 1965, running for seven years.[1] In 1991, the play was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most performed French play throughout the world.


The play is set in the 1960s, and centres on bachelor Bernard, who has a flat in Paris and three airline stewardesses all engaged to him without knowing about each other. Bernard's life gets bumpy, though, when his friend Robert comes to stay, and complications such as weather and a new, speedier Boeing jet disrupt his careful planning. Soon, all three stewardesses are in the city simultaneously and catastrophe looms.


  • Bernard– a Parisian architect and lothario (turned into an American who resides in Paris in the most recent Broadway production)
  • Berthe– Bernard's French housekeeper
  • Robert– Bernard's old school chum (from Wisconsin)
  • Jaqueline (or Gabriella)– the French fiancée (or the Italian fiancée) and air hostess
  • Janet (or Gloria)– the American fiancée and air hostess
  • Judith (or Gretchen)– the German fiancée and air hostess


The English version of the play was first staged in London's West End at the Apollo Theatre in 1962 with David Tomlinson in the lead role and then transferred to the Duchess Theatre in 1965, running for seven years.[1] After a year in the play, Tomlinson was replaced by Leslie Phillips, who played in it for two years. He was then replaced by Nicholas Parsons, who played in it for 15 months.

The play was produced on Broadway at the Cort Theatre from February 2, 1965, closing on February 20, 1965, after 23 performances.[2][3][4] Directed by Jack Minster, the cast included Ian Carmichael, Susan Carr, Diana Millay, and Gerald Harper.

The play was also on in Blackpool at the South Pier during 1967, and featured Vicki Woolf, Dandy Nichols, Hugh Lloyd, Ann Sidney, and Christina Taylor.

In 1978, the play was produced in Kansas City, featuring Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow of Leave It to Beaver. [5]

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 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, and Mae Paner-Rosa.[6]

Boeing-Boeing was revived in London in February 2007 at the Comedy Theatre in a production directed by Matthew Warchus. Once again, the play 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.[7] Elena Roger later took on the role of Gabriella.

Warchus also directed the 2008 Broadway revival, which started previews on April 19, 2008, and opened on May 4 at the Longacre Theatre to good reviews.[8] The cast featured Christine Baranski as Berthe, 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.[9] The production closed on January 4, 2009, after 279 performances and 17 previews.[10] A 45-week North American tour began in fall 2009.[11] The production won the Best Revival of a Play and Rylance won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor. The production 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.[12]

2007 West End revival[edit]

Dates Bernard Berthe Robert Gabriella Gloria Gretchen
Feb-May 2007 Roger Allam Frances de la Tour Mark Rylance Daisy Beaumont Tamzin Outhwaite Michelle Gomez
May-Jun 2007 Patricia Hodge Amy Nuttall
Jun-Oct 2007 Adrian Dunbar Rhea Perlman Neil Stuke Elena Roger Doon Mackichan
Oct 2007-Jan 2008 Kevin McNally Jean Marsh Jennifer Ellison Tracy-Ann Oberman
UK Tour Dec 2008-Apr 2009 Martin Marquez Susie Blake John Marquez Thaila Zucchi Sarah Jayne Dunn Josephine Butler

2008 Broadway[edit]

Dates Bernard Berthe Robert Gabriella Gloria Gretchen
April 2008 Bradley Whitford Christine Baranski Mark Rylance Gina Gershon Kathryn Hahn Mary McCormack
Sept 9, 2008 Greg Germann Missi Pyle
Oct. 7, 2008 Rebecca Gayheart Paige Davis




  1. ^ a b Mervyn Rothstein (8 June 2008). "Flying High". Playbill. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-04.
  2. ^ Louis Calta, "New Directors for Lincoln Rep," New York Times, 31 January 1965
  3. ^ Howard Taubman, "Theater: 'Boeing-Boeing' at the Cort," New York Times, 3 February 1965
  4. ^ John Chapman, "It's Jet-Age, but French Farce Isn't," Chicago Tribune, 4 February 1965
  5. ^ "It's Wally and the Beaver". Washington Post. 1979.
  6. ^ "Boeing-Boeing". Wild Rice Theatre Company. 2002. Archived from the original on 2008-10-11. Retrieved 2008-11-04.
  7. ^ "Boeing Boeing London theatre tickets and information". thisistheatre.com. 23 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-04.
  8. ^ Ben Brantley (5 May 2008). "Up, Up and Away (and Watch Those Swinging Doors". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
  9. ^ Elyse Sommer (8 May 2008). "Boeing, Boeing Flies Its Daffy Lovers to Broadway". Curtainup. Retrieved 2008-11-04.
  10. ^ "Boeing-Boeing". IBDB.com. Internet Broadway Database.
  11. ^ Kenneth Jones (2 December 2008). "Grounded! Hit Boeing-Boeing Will Close Jan. 4, 2009; Tour Planned". Playbill. Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-04.
  12. ^ Lawrence Van Gelder (19 May 2008). "Drama Desk Awards". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
  13. ^ Jones, Kenneth."Two New Stews: Davis and Gayheart to Climb Aboard Broadway's Boeing" Archived October 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, playbill.com, Sept. 29, 2008

Further reading[edit]

  • Camoletti, Marc; Mithois, Marcel (1961). Boeing-boeing. Avant-scène no. 240 (in French). Paris: L'Avant-scène. pp. 46 pp. OCLC 56696680.

External links[edit]