Rattigan's Rare WWII Drama, Flare Path, Gets Concert Revival by TACT in NYC Oct. 16-18
September 30, 2004
Flare Path, Terrence Rattigan's play about World War II British fighter pilots and the women they love, will open the 2004-05 season of TACT — The Actors Company Theatre.Co-artistic director Simon Jones will stage the play in TACT's signature performance style: with costumes, light and sound design, but with script in hand and actors facing out to the audience, in an effort to emphasize the writing. Performances play Oct. 16-18.
The mission of the company, co-artistic-directed by Jones, Scott Alan Evans and Cynthia Harris, is "presenting neglected or rarely produced plays of literary merit." This is the 12th season for TACT.
The "timely" Flare Path, according to the company, is by a "master theatrical craftsman" who "creates a vivid picture of people to whom honor, courage and duty are as important as life itself."
According to TACT, "Flare Path was written in 1942 while Rattigan served as a gunner on Atlantic U-Boat patrols during World War II, and it seemed to come in the right place at the right time. In the shadows of war, it offered its audience cause for optimism. The openings in New York and London were December 1942 and August 1942, respectively. It was a critical success on both sides of the Atlantic. Although it only ran for 14 performances in New York (with future Tony Award winners Alec Guiness and Nancy Kelly), it enjoyed a nearly two year run in London. One of Rattigan's fellow officers during the war who saw the play when it opened in London was said to have been deeply moved and 'shocked to realize that Rattigan had seen so deeply into us.'"
Flare Path has not been seen in a major production in New York since its opening in 1942.
The cast will include TACT company members Mary Bacon, Jamie Bennett, Jack Koenig, Darrie Lawrence, Margaret Nichols, James Prendergast, Gregory Salata, Scott Schafer and guest artists Kathleen Doyle and Geoffrey Malloy.
The production team includes Jorge Arroyo (lighting design), Elizabeth Payne (costume design) and David Macdonald (original music).
Performances will be at Florence Gould Hall at the French Institute Alliance Français (55 E. 59th Street) on Oct. 16 at 7:30 PM; Oct. 17 at 2 PM; and Oct. 18 at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (212) 307-4100 or at the Florence Gould Hall box office on 59th Street between Madison and Park Avenues.
The remainder of TACT's 12th season includes The Firebugs by Max Frisch, adapted by Michael Bullock, Nov. 20-22; Zack (New York premiere) by Harold Brighouse, Jan. 22-24, 2005; Home by David Storey, March 12-14, 2005; and R.U.R. by Karel Capek April 30-May 2, 2005.
For more information on TACT, visit www.TACTnyc.org.