Article by Val Dillon and Photos by BJ Boulter
David Butler-Cole describes his latest production “Flights of Fancy, a revue” as “thoughts skimming through a turbulent mind”. He has taken these thoughts and created witty and satirical sketches which reflect the myriad of modern day frustrations and topical situations encountered by us all.
Performed in the quaint and atmospheric Teatro Mascarenhas Gregório in Silves, he entertained his audiences with a wide selection of topics. This setting is perfect for any drama which is faintly old fashioned and supported the gentle humour which was, at times, faintly risqué and peppered with double entendres.
The first half focussed mainly on the many trials and tribulations which we have all encountered whilst flying, from budget to first class, security and safety, whereas, the second half concentrated on a far wider range of subjects, including a job interview, the problem with bankers and immigration. Each sketch was interspersed with music from Duncan Kennell and Matt Lester who expertly delivered a selection of standard easy listening and soft jazz numbers from the great American song book reflecting the themes of the various sketches.
Whilst all of the themes struck a chord with the audience, Butler-Cole’s brand of humour shone through his insightful use of drama, song and monologue.
In her own inimitably mischievous style, Gloria Costa presented as an elderly lady negotiating the rigours of airport security. With a false leg, false teeth, hip replacement and piercings the scanner was bleeping manically! Definitely a situation with which many of the not so young in the audience would have empathised!
We were treated to a rousing rendition of a song reflecting the current desire to purchase the cheapest airline ticket possible, only to find that the hidden charges are exorbitant. Entitled “Cheap Flights” and brilliantly delivered by Maxine Costa, Angela Theobald and Sandy Whittle, this song had the audience laughing out loud and deserved the generous applause at the end.
Another highlight was the excellent monologue about being on benefits, delivered by Maggie Cooper. Her comic timing and dead pan humour, as she revealed the extent of her “ailments” and complicated family situation, was hilarious.
David Butler-Cole manages to take a wry look at the world we live in, and as his audience share his flights of fancy, they laugh, empathise and groan in dismay, sometimes simultaneously! The actors are sometimes required to exaggerate the frustrations of dealing with the ever-increasing bureaucracy of day-to-day life for comic effect, but in its entirety, the production is somewhat wistful. Life used to be so much simpler and the only thing we can do is hold on to our sense of humour!
Flights of Fancy will be at the Auditorium in Vale de Lobo for two performances, March 10 and 11 at 8pm and 5pm respectively.