Edinburgh Fringe 2011
High camp at high altitude is the name of the game in this enjoyable expose of life in the air. Join this crew at Go Fly Airways as they soar high in the sky en route to sunny New York. There’s plenty of cheese and kitsch on the menu as well.
Four guys, four girls and four musicians make up the crew of this Go Fly Airways flight across the pond to the Big Apple. Cramming as many fare-paying audience into the stifling cabin as they possibly could, this crew showed that life on the other side of the curtain is rather less glamorous than it perhaps was when their forefathers were flying the flag half a century ago.
These days it’s more like taking cattle to market, except that cattle probably get more legroom, better food and are treated with more courtesy and respect by their handlers. You can see why as well. Life as a pilot was recently described to me as ninety per cent pure boredom coupled with ten minutes of frenetic activity as you tried to get airborne and then land the thing. Life in the back of the cabin is hardly that stimulating either. But I’ve always thought that with a bit of imagination, cabin crew could have a lot of fun with their charges.
And Jet, Set, Go! show just how they might do that, and with cheesy gusto too. ‘High camp’ would be underselling the degree of kitsch on display here. Ryan has the hots for Richard, but the latter’s more interested in the dishy Italian guy in 26C. Julia can’t wait to eat Jim, the pilot, once they’re airborne and Richard’s desperate to woo first-timer Melanie. Nicola is torn between her boyfriend and her job and Hayley is anxious to avoid being left on the shelf.
That’s about the extent of the plot but the journey flies by in a whirlwind of ensemble and solo pieces accompanied by some cheeky plane-stylised choreography. Jack Mosedale (Ryan) was about as camp as Alan Cummings in High Life (remember that one, Air Scotia with the ferocious Siobhan Redmond as the purser) and had a good voice, as did Rosie Brown (Hayley). Jessica Jupp as the nervous Melanie got the balance right between being cute and earnest and every inch of the diminutive Ceci Mourkogiannis screamed “man-eater”.
The troupe were clearly most comfortable in the big ensemble numbers. Granted, this was only their second flight, but some of the solo voices struggled to make themselves heard over the excellent four piece band and parts of the dialogue lacked punch and conviction. The gents’ costumes need to make the acquaintance of an iron, flight attendants serving first class passengers don’t go around with their ties at half mast and the lights need adjusting a bit as you tended to lose cast members using the outer reaches of the tight set. But these are minor issues in what was a pleasant eighty minute expose of the lives and loves of the trolley dolly brigade whose clarion call to the awkward sods that are the passengers remains the ever memorable “you for coffee?”