Made into a lamentable film starring Tony Curtis and Jerry Lewis in 1965, the only reason for enduring the movie is the presence of the always watchable WEW favourite Thelma Ritter as Bertha the maid; presumably this is the role which will be taken by the almost-as-marvellous Frances de la Tour in this revival. Other sadly misguided names who have signed up are Roger Allam and Mark Rylance. And now recently announced Daisy Beaumont(Star Stories) Tamzin Outhwaite (Eastenders) and the fabulous Michelle Gomez (The Book Group/Green Wing). Of course Andrew hasn’t heard of any of these three, but then Andrew doesn’t really “do” TV. The beard tends to be a bit of a giveaway.
The plot of the farce revolves around a playboy who manages relationships with three air hostess whose flight schedules mean that they never get wind of each others’ existence until… You get the picture.
Presumably there must be some masterplan for updating this tripe. Here are some WEW suggestions for producer Sonia Friedman:
- Reflect the realities of modern day cabin crew in the casting, although unfortuantely at 62 this would make de la Tour far too young for the role of a BA stewardess.
- Adopt the budget airline model. This would involve staging the play in Luton with curtain-up at 5.20 am. Oh, and a scrum involving unallocated seating.
- Rename the play Airbus A380, Airbus A380, delay the opening night indefinitely and/or have the curtain go up hopelessly late every night.
- Adopt the National Theatre’s policy of not letting bags larger than a certain size into the auditorium.
Postscript 25 January 2007: Hoorah for Rhoda Koenig’s piece in The Independent.
Postscript 14 February 2007: We went to see it. We were so, so wrong. Here’s our review