Cabin Pressure is set in a small airline business. The flipside of the glamorous world of international airlines.
©2008 John Finnemore; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
Audio books and radio shows fill the hours of biking and public-transit time. If you see a woman cackling with her blue earbuds, wave hello.
If I had to sum up Cabin Pressure in three iconic words from the show it would be: Lemon In Play.
Arthur is by far my favorite character- I want to say Martin, but Arthur doesn't let anything keep him down. In a group of four clot poles he's the clot pole that never lets the biting sarcasm and sideways jabs get to him.
A great example of this is in an exchange about a cup of coffee.
Arthur: Here you are, Skip. Nice hot cup of coffee.
Martin: Augh. It's cold.
Arthur: Nice cup of coffee.
Martin: It's horrible.
Arthur: Cup of coffee.
Martin: Not even sure it is coffee...
I dare you to hate Arthur's enthusiasm after Season 2. It's near impossible.
What don't I like about this performance? It's a radio play in all the beautiful and gleefully imaginative ways that made sitting and listening to the radio as a kid just as entertaining as watching the telly.
The characters are often cheerfully perverse, boldly bad and hilariously hypocritical. John Finnemore does a beautiful job of weaving fantastical cock-ups into the every day lives of these four misfits. From the dry and sarcastically suave Douglas to the socially awkward and dweebish Martin playing a piloting version of Abbot and Costello, to Arthur playing the plucky young idiot and the counterpoint to his waspish and shrewd mother Carolyn- the owner of MJN and hostess of the tiny charter aircraft.
The best part is that while each character is larger than life, they are all three dimensional characters. Arthur has a few moments where it is obvious that not only does he have a decent mind sometimes, but he has to force himself to choose to be cheerful, and Carolyn has many moments of humanity and heartfelt connections. So many beautiful little moments that really make everything that much better, funnier.
The sound effects and method of recording are also delightful, and I never cease to be swept off into the clouds for a half hour when Cabin Pressure comes on.
You can not listen to Cabin Pressure without getting at least one good chuckle. I however had never listened to it before Season 3 and was given a copy of Season 1 and 2 for listening to during my Holiday.
Suffice it to say I got many odd looks as I broke into giggles and peals of laughter despite white knuckled grips on my own armrests during the long flight. In fact, by the third episode I was relaxed and fairly good even with the pockets of turbulence we went through at one point.
If you hate flying, or love flying, have never flown or fly every week, the MJN crew will have you in stitches. It's just relatable and human in ways that make it an enjoyable experience no matter when you decide to listen in.
If you want a good laugh and a ready giggle, Cabin Pressure is the purchase for you!
So I downloaded Cabin Pressure from Audible because Benedict Cumberbatch plays the pilot, Martin Crieff, and since Ben's voice is like melted chocolate, I thought it might soothe me to sleep. But YSK: It is REALLY hard to sleep when you're laughing so hard you can't breathe. I listened to all three available seasons last week and then just started right over from the beginning! I've also taken to stalking the BBC Radio 4 website at odd hours of the day/night to catch up with series 4 as it airs.
And as Arthur Shappey would say, "It's brilliant!"
"Oh, dear. Surely we had two wings when we started?"
MARTIN: Good afternoon. This is your captain speaking. Just to say there is absolutely nothing to worry about.
MARTIN: Hello. Captain Crieff here again. Still no need to panic. I repeat, there is no need to panic. Or to look out of the windows. Everything's fine.
MARTIN: Actually, I wasn't being entirely straight with you just now. You see, it's this damnable sleeping sickness of mine. [Yawns.] Normally, I control it with a mysterious stimulant from South America but blast it, my supply's run out. I'm afraid our only hope now is if by some chance someone on board knows how to prepare this stimulant and could—
CAROLYN: Yes, we get the message. Arthur, take Martin his coffee.
I laughed so hard that I forgot how to breathe. Then I died. I am currently listening to CP from the beyond. "What fresh hell is this?"
If you don't mind me saying so, that question is entirely against the spirit of surprising rice!
I absolutely LOVE this series. Funny, cleverly written material and terrific performers. I especially relish Roger Allam's deadpan, sardonic, quietly superb, and all-knowing "sky god" Douglas. The most fun you'll ever have in connection with air travel. Enjoy!
Buy this audiobook. Buy it now. Buy it fast. You'll laugh until you're sore in the stomach listening to the adventures of MJN air, Britain's least competent but most endearing airline. This is British radio humour at its very best, and it has Benedict Cumberbatch in the cast (as Captain Martin Crieff)! The entire series is excellent, so don't stop here, but the second and third series and the Christmas special too - there's not a dud episode among them. I cannot wait for more episodes so come, and have listened to these ones many time and they just keep staying funny.
Laugh out loud, tickle my funny bone silliness. A charter plane flys into high turbulence of comedy. I love it when the owner of MJN Air tells the pilot he is not an airline pilot because you can't put one plane into a line. This is a terrific series and I hope they'll be more!
Mother, knitter, reader, lifelong learner, technical writer, former library assistant & hematologist.
Thank goodness Audible has all 4 seasons of this BBC radio show (plus the Christmas Special!) available. I haven't yet met my son's girlfriend, but since she was the one to recommend Cabin Pressure to him, and he in turn told me I had to listen to it, I like her already! As far as I'm concerned, John Finnemore is a creative genius. His writing and the acting of all four characters is perfect and perfectly funny, across all four seasons. Some details about the characters are revealed as the seasons progress, adding depth to the extraordinary comedy. I've listened to all the episodes of Cabin Pressure multiple times and they never get old. I anxiously await Season 5!
Hilarious, non-stop laughs.
The actors are simply fabulous at delivering the lines and their timing is perfect.
Divided into 30 minute episodes, it is the perfect length for the morning commute.
Yes, absolutely. And I do, all the time.
Cabin Pressure is a series consisting of six plays, so it's not comparable to books.
Again, Cabin Pressure is a series consisting of plays, and you don't get the same experience reading plays as you do from having them performed. Stephanie Cole is wonderful as Carolyn Knapp-Shappy, CEO and hostess of MJN Air, and the interplay between her and Douglas Richardson, the first officer played by Roger Allam is fantastic. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Martin Crieff, the hapless Captain of the "airdot" and John Finnemore plays Arther Shappey, the ever cheerful steward.
John Finnemore writes the series and has managed to place the characters in such bizzare and perverse situations, you can't help but cringe and laugh.
Engaging and hilarious performances. Very well written, Finnemore fleshes out the characters in quick and natural way. You find yourself really caring about them.
Too hard to choose just one. I love them all.
Very engaging, you can visualize the characters the narration is so colorful!
I found myself laughing out loud to this on my commute.
This series has a high re-listen value!
Cabin Pressure is the reason I started to listen to radio dramas.
The actors are so distinct and clear with all their own unique quirks and personalities. I never really realized how much could be conveyed through voice alone until I listened to
I'm absolutely in love with this radio drama. The characters are fantastic (as Arthur would say). The stories are hilarious and, at times, heart warming and tragic. Any work that can simultaneously make me laugh out loud and then truly make me feel for a character is well worth listening to. Get Cabin Pressure! You won't regret it.
"Best money spent ever!"
Seriously, you don't even have to be a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch to find this hugely enjoyable. I can't remember laughing this much at a radio show ever. It's witty, funny and just about the best comedy ever. It's a bit weird to listen to in public though because you will burst out laughing and get some odd looks...
this is a very funny programme, i would recomend this to anybody who likes comedy
"A lot of fun!"
This is an excellent series. A lot of laughs and the characters are brilliantly portrayed by the actors. Already downloaded the second series and I am looking forward to even more laughs.
"A flying success"
Unlike the airline of the story, this is a flying success. Stephanie Cole in comedy roles cannot go wrong for me (e.g. Diana in the TV series Waiting for God) and with strong support from the rest of the 'crew', this results in a very funny listening experience. Would recommend without reservation.
I downloaded this title last summer, wanting something light, after having just gone through a series of 20+ hours biographies. Wow ! Was I ever inspired.
Cabin Pressure is a perfect gem. A taut cast (4 regulars, each with its own personality, good and bad) with excellent guests, a setting that most of us know (the airline world), and fantastic dialog, which assumes that you are smart and can understand a joke without the need to explain it in gory details.
An example among many:
• DOUGLAS: When I was at Air England, I had sex with more airline stewardesses than you can imagine.
• MARTIN: That's ridiculous; I can imagine you having sex with a thousand airline stewardesses !
(a slight pause)
• DOUGLAS: Your point being ?
The only negative is the canned laughter, which is unfortunately common in TV and Radio comedy
Great fun and very entertaining! I have listened to it 10 times already and I'm still not bored of it!
Made me smile and laugh on my commute to work. Highly recommend to those who appreciate witty comedy.
Listening to this on my way to work set me smiling for the day. Have listened to it several times and it is still....brilliant!
This is in-line with 'Old Harry's Game' for the genius of comedy on Radio. I absolute love it, and can listen repeatedly. My 7 year old daughter also loves listening to this on short journeys. Hope this show keeps on going!
"Beautifully written and performed"
Such a brilliant cast must have been attracted by the quality of the scripts. Martin's desperation and insecurity, Douglas' arrogance and sarcasm, Arthur's idiocy and optimism and the plain rudeness of Carolyn to all and sundry are worked up fantastically in each episode till the stories have built to a level of nuttiness to compete with the great sitcoms of British TV.
I've been helpless with laughter listening to this show. A very rare experience from Radio 4 sitcoms.
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