I guess in this age of astronauts, aviation pioneers are not so fashionable or exciting in the public eye. But this jolly romp, concerning British flyers Alcock and Brown and their now not-so-famous 1919 first non-stop flight across the Atlantic, aims to put that right. This is no dry retailing of aeronautical facts, though. Here Brown is Morecambe to Alcock’s Wise, as they argue between themselves, Brown constantly wanting to ‘jazz up’ the story to make it more exciting and keep them famous in posterity’s eye; Alcock irritated by such flights of fancy, and trying to keep to the actual story. They make a very good double act. The set is replete with daft anachronisms, their adapted World War One bomber represented here by a ramshackle arrangement of clothes horse, old sheets and bits of stick held together with bungees – which only emphasises the makeshift nature of early aircraft, and how risky they were to fly. Altogether a cleverly balanced mix of history with comedy, this is at once an informative and also hugely entertaining show.
John Christopher Wood