If there ever was an Eleventh Commandment, it would have to apply to Bernard Lawrence.
Because in his opinion, there are three things a man should do when his fiancé leaves the house to catch a flight:
1. Rearrange the house and plan menus to suit the taste of the second fiancé.
2. Check departure and arrival times of the second and third fiancé respectively. And the said Eleventh Commandment:
3. Do not get caught.
The life of Bernard Lawrence revolves around this mantra, and of course, what could possibly go wrong? When his three fiancés work in three separate airlines which introduce faster planes and new timetables…most probably everything.
This is the story of Marc Camellotti’s Boeing Boeing — the spectacular falling apart of what promised to be a foolproof way of “having all the advantages of a married life without any of the inconveniences.”
Translated into English and taken to the big screen in Hollywood as well as Bollywood, Boeing Boeing will now be staged in Colombo by Silent Hands Productions.
And so, every evening, seven crazy friends get down to the serious business of practicing for their new drama.
“Everything has worked out very nicely so far,” agree directors Jehan Bastians and Neidra Williams. “There still remains a lot to be done in fine tuning the individual performances,” they say, “but these actors are more than capable of stepping up to any acting challenge.”
They are a group of relatively young actors; all with acting experience in school based drama as well as past productions by Silent Hands which include Yes, Honourable Minister and Tom, Dick and Harry.
Gehan Blok and Niren Neydorff who will on alternate days play the role of the philandering Bernard Lawrence; have more to say on this. In the general spirit of hysteria and craziness that reigns over practices, the highlight of the production for them lies in teasing Charith de Silva — who will be playing Robert Long — an old friend of Bernard Lawrence.
“Gehan and Niren portray two very different, yet complementary Bernards,” comments Jehan, “and both interpretations of the character have developed very well.”
Elaborates Neidra, “We feel that no two performances need be the same, and the two interpretations add a great deal of freshness to the performance.”
The two young actors themselves agree that they have had an interesting time getting into the shoes of the 40-year-old architect and playboy. “Bernard’s character is a little ambiguous sometimes,” explains Niren. Basically his is an interesting character with a lot of scope for interpretation and development.”
“I have never been a player!” grins Gehan, “but apart from that fact I have never played this sort of character, so its been both fun and interesting to watch the progress made by Bernard’s character as his initially ingenious plan falls to pieces and he goes from being a typical player-suave and in control, to someone who is completely overwhelmed by the situation he is in and is simply unable to cope.”
“And that is where I come in,” smiles Charith. “My character is underestimated at first, but in the end I am the one who is able to help Bernard out of the mess he gets himself into.” What with three indignant fiancés (played by Keshiya Leitch, Celina Cramer and Michelle Herft), a crusty yet accommodating housekeeper (played by Neidra Williams) and of course the antics of the man of the moment — Bernard Lawrence, Boeing Boeing promises to be packed with two hours of non stop laughter for the whole family.
But, to say more would be telling, so be there to watch the drama unfold at the Lionel Wendt at 7pm from January 23—25.
Each night, one lucky member of the audience will walk away with a ticket to Singapore, Malaysia or Bangkok, courtesy of Classic Travels. (Please note that this applies only to those sitting in reserved seats)
The electronic media sponsors for the show will be TNL Radio and TNL Lite, while The Daily Mirror and The Sunday Times will be the print media sponsors.
Tickets for the show priced at Rs. 1000, 750, 650, 350 and 250, will be available at the Lionel Wendt.