Rhiannon Vivian: Doors to Manual
A mixed bag of character delights and flat chat about aviophobia
This article is from 2016.
This hour is quite a curious number. Amid some very decent character comedy, all of which is set on an aeroplane, is a talk by actress Rhiannon Vivian about her own previously debilitating fear of flying. Her chat is amiable without much in the way of humour, and she leaves the funnies for an array of characters gathered aboard a flight readying itself for take-off.
The inevitably starchy chief air stewardess gets most of the attention at the top as she struggles to mask her true feelings for passengers, letting slip a series of inappropriate remarks before making a series of increasingly daft observations of the safety notices. Among the other treats is an eight-year-old Welsh boy who is inventing a selection of new board games, while at the back of the plane, a spectacled woman can't hide her terror which manifests itself in pulling faces and gestures bringing to mind horror film posters of the 1950s.
Doors to Manual concludes rather jarringly with footage of a real flight Vivian took which proves that she's overcome her fear. It should be a moving moment but the rather dull, seemingly unedited film rather blunts the effect.
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