Geraldton’s community playhouse Theatre 8 production of Boeing Boeing ready to take flight

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Elise Van AkenGeraldton Guardian
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Rachel Heelan, Amanda Burges and Sonia Sheridan in as the air hostesses in Theatre 8's production of Boeing Boeing.
Camera IconRachel Heelan, Amanda Burges and Sonia Sheridan in as the air hostesses in Theatre 8's production of Boeing Boeing. Credit: Geraldton Guardian/Elise Van Aken

You could wish Sonia Sheridan good luck for her upcoming play but the community playhouse director has already overcome a slew of obstacles to get her show on stage, including her literally nearly breaking a leg.

Boeing Boeing, an exaggerated comedy set in the 1960s, was set to run at Geraldton’s Theatre 8 early last year, before COVID-19 restrictions delayed its take-off.

Sheridan said after a change of director and cast — the long-time Theatre 8 volunteer had to step up into both roles — her “broken foot and twisted knee” and both the recent cyclone Seroja and Perth COVID-19 lockdown delaying rehearsals, the show would finally open tomorrow night.

The show is Theatre 8’s first senior play since 2019, with its usual four annual productions limited to a junior show and cabaret last year. “We’re so excited and we’ve worked so hard, we’re just dying to put it on,” she said.

Mark Long and Rob Offer as Robert and Bernard.
Camera IconMark Long and Rob Offer as Robert and Bernard. Credit: Geraldton Guardian/Elise Van Aken

“It’s great to get back into what we do best, which is plays.

“It’s a bit different because it’s set in the past ... we had to do a lot of research into costume, set design and props.

“You can’t go to all that trouble and have a contemporary Australian wine label sitting on the bar!

There are laugh-out-loud moments it . . . it’s nice to put on a play after all this time.

Written by Marc Camoletti and translated by Beverley Cross, the play centres on English architect Bernard Lawrence, who has his hands full in the romance department.

The bachelor has three girlfriends, all stewardesses from different airlines, who he’s ingeniously selected as their layovers don’t overlap, keeping each woman unaware of the others.

Sharon Cole performs with a French accent as Bertha the maid in Theatre 8's production of Boeing Boeing.
Camera IconSharon Cole performs with a French accent as Bertha the maid in Theatre 8's production of Boeing Boeing. Credit: Geraldton Guardian/Elise Van Aken

But Bernard’s foolproof scheme comes crashing down when new, fast Boeing jets are introduced.

With the ladies set to arrive at his Paris apartment all at once, matters are made worse by a surprise house guest with a scheme of his own. Geraldton man Rob Offer stars as Bernard, with Mark Long as his friend Robert, Sharon Cole as the maid Bertha, Sheridan as Italian air hostess Gabriella, Rachel Heelan as German air hostess Gretchen, and Amanda Burges as American air hostess Gloria.

Sheridan said the characters, accents and humour were all over-the-top, complementing the far-fetched storyline, with the performance suitable for all ages.

“It’s quite humorous but it’s not rude, there’s nothing too risque in it,” she said.

The show runs for the next two weekends, starting tomorrow night, with a Friday night performance on May 7 and Sunday afternoon matinees.

Tickets can be bought via Try Booking Australia.

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