Wartime drama lights way ahead at Grand

Flare Path comes to Blackpool's Grand Theatre
Flare Path comes to Blackpool's Grand Theatre
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A backdrop of wartime heartache and bravery sets the scene for a story based on the real life experiences of playwright Terrence Rattigan in the Second World War.

Flare Path will bring an acclaimed company of stage actors to Blackpool’s Grand Theatre at the end of February with its new cast for 2016.

Graham Seed, perhaps best known as playing Nigel Pargetter in The Archers for 27 years until 2011, heads the cast as Squadron Leader Swanson, accompanied by Lynden Edwards and Hedydd Dylan as Peter Kyle and Patricia Graham.

Graham’s recent theatre work in theatre includes An Audience with Jimmy Savile opposite Alistair McGowan at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival and national tours of The Mousetrap and Yes Prime Minister, while Lynden has been seen in Trevor Nunn’s Tony Award-winning production of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music and Hedydd Dylan has made regular appearances for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

A spokesman said: “Based on Rattigan’s experiences as a tail gunner during World War II, Flare Path paints an evocative portrait of life in wartime Britain for the life-and-death existence of the RAF bomber crews, and their wives and sweethearts who were left waiting their return.

“Set in 1942 against a backdrop of heartache and quiet bravery, the play tells the story of former actress Patricia, the wife of RAF pilot Teddy, whose marriage is tested to the limits by the surprise arrival of Patricia’s ex‐lover and Hollywood idol Peter Kyle.

“An unexpected and dangerous mission over Germany puts Patricia at the centre of an emotional conflict as unpredictable as the war in the skies.

“Flare Path combines highly charged drama with a truly authentic taste of the fear, camaraderie and passion experienced by the men and women who fought to save their country, their families and each other.”

Also in the cast will be Daniel Fraser as Teddy Graham and Audrey Palmer as Mrs Oakes.

Daniel played Gregory Cromwell in the acclaimed RSC productions of Wolf Hall and appeared in Chariots of Fire at Hampstead Theatre and in the West End.

The production has been directed by Justin Audibert, for The Original Theatre Company and Birdsong Productions Ltd.

* Flare Path, Grand Theatre, Blackpool, Tuesday to Saturday, February 23 to 27. Call (01253) 290190 for tickets.