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Fasten your seatbelts it could be a bumpy ride

PUBLISHED: 17:41 21 May 2008 | UPDATED: 17:28 16 August 2010

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The Orchard Theatre has iridescent pink strip lighting, which complemented the largely gay crowd who crammed the bar, exchanging lively gossip before take-off.

The Orchard Theatre has iridescent pink strip lighting, which complemented the largely gay crowd who crammed the bar, exchanging lively gossip before take-off.

Australian comic Caroline Reid appears in her one-woman show as a cross between Lily Savage and Dame Edna Everage, dressed to torment in a pink and blood-red air hostess outfit, striding about a bare stage with only a video screen for back-up.

After a two-minute video of a supposed hijack, with Caroline languidly dealing with the intruder, she appeared in person, to rapturous applause and began two hours of unbridled insult and innuendo, with the audience as captive accomplices.

It is a tribute to her panache and quick-wittedness that she managed to coerce and entertain her passengers, so much so in fact that we all returned for a second helping after the break.

The atmosphere was more akin to a party than a theatre show, which allowed her to get away with some quite racist caricatures, and a smattering of awkward dance routines that would have earned her a quick exit from a TV talent show, but here she elicited gales of delighted laughter.

She tottered about as Singapore Airlines flight attendant Lily who showed us the private cabins on the new Airbus 380 - but "no hanky-panky" we were warned.

Then she turned her attention to the audience and soon identified several people from the airline industry who she shared scurrilous chit-chat with. She finally persuaded them to come up on stage and make fools of themselves dragging wheelie bags around to loud a loud 70s disco anthem.

Part one finished with a video tribute to the baggage miss-handlers at T5 and a tongue-lashing for Willy Walsh (BA chairman)

Part two started with a video nasty Terror At 41.000 Feet where Charlton Heston and other Hollywood luminaries put up with Caroline's on-screen interference (she is spliced into the action and makes sure nobody has a hope of surviving the on-board emergency).

Three aircraft seats appeared on-stage in the interval, but remained unused as Caroline descended into the front row and hob-nobbed with the first class passengers.

Quickly identifiying two lesbians, she purloined the handbag of one of them (for security reasons) and, amidst a spine-tingling hush, retired to the aircraft seats to rummage through the contents and pass lurid opinions on the contents. Luckily, the owner of the bag joined in with the ensuing merriment and all was well.

Finally, if anyone was in any doubt about the political incorrectness of her show, she persuaded some unfortunate to don an Osama Bin Laden mask and play Statues, ending up with simulated sex...

I have no doubt that half the audience are well acquainted with Ms Reid and it is instructive to attend what is, quite obviously, a cult show in the making.

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