Boeing Boeing director Jonathan Humphreys reckons that putting on a farce is a serious business.
Of course, he means that he and the cast have to work hard to make sure they find the perfect comic timing so that the play works well.
He said: “While the farce is incredibly silly, it actually requires quite a lot of seriousness to achieve it. You have to strike each moment so the comic energy can flow out of it. We’ve been getting the comic tempo where it needs to be.”
Boeing Boeing, which Jonathan said is the most performed French language play of all time, was written by Marc Camoletti and has had several successful revivals in recent years.
Bernard, a successful architect living in Paris in the early 1960s, is busy juggling three girlfriends, taking advantage of the international airline schedules to ensure none of them discover the others’ existence.
Jonthan said: “What the audience quite quickly see is what the problems must be with this perfect universe he’s created and it begins to show large cracks.
“It’s set up in the first act, then it just flows into chaos and confusion with people flying into bedrooms and trying not to get caught. It’s a really fantastic, tight piece.”
Despite the set-up, Jonathan doesn’t think that the play could be accused of sexism. “It’s all about the differences between men and women. It’s not about how men deal with women but how women deal with men.”
He said it was really important to cast strong women as the three air hostesses. The whole cast was very experienced, he said, explaining that the Crucible’s reputation as a top regional theatre enables it to attract the best actors.
This is Jonathan’s directing debut at the Crucible and he has returned three years after working as an assistant director on The Village Bike and Samuel Beckett play Happy Days
He said: “It’s lovely to come back to Sheffield. Crucible audiences are remarkably frank, as is the organisation.
“It’s a privilege to be back and I’m supported by an amazing team.
“All the costumes are made in house so we can have exactly what we want.
“There’s also wonderful set builders and lighting and sound designers.
“It’s such a fantastic place to work.”
Boeing Boeing is at the Crucible until June 7. Tickets: from the Crucible box office, online at www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk or call 0114 249 6000.