Review of Flare Path - Darlington Civic Theatre
FLARE Path was written by Terence Rattigan in 1941 based partly on his experiences as a tail gunner in RAF Coastal Command. Set in the resident’s lounge of The Falcon Hotel, located near to an RAF base, we gradually meet up with a group of residents, which mainly includes men from the RAF base meeting up with their wives for the weekend. The mix of characters includes Doris, Claire Andreadis, meeting up with her husband Count Skriczevinsky, a Polish pilot serving with the RAF. Patricia, Hedydd Dylan, an actress from London to see her husband Teddy, Daniel Fraser, a bomber pilot and Dusty, Jamie Hogarth, Teddy’s tail gunner whose wife Maudie, Polly Hughes, is always late. This isn’t just a play about the 2nd World War as a love triangle emerges with the arrival of Peter Kyle, Lynden Edwards, a Hollywood film star who also had an affair with Patricia before she met Teddy.
In the 2nd Act, the tension builds as after a last minute night raid we are left waiting to see who will actually return and if Patricia will leave her husband. Gentle humour is brought to the play through Count Skriczevinsky’s attempts to learn English and through Mrs Oakes, Audrey Palmer, who runs the hotel. The play gives a great insight into what it must have been like for those during the 2nd World War making this play just as relevant now as it was then.
Flare Path runs at Darlington Civic Theatre until Saturday 16th April.