Moving drama paints portrait of life in wartime Britain

Leon Ockenden and Olivia Hallinan in Flare Path. Picture by Jack Ladenburg
Leon Ockenden and Olivia Hallinan in Flare Path. Picture by Jack Ladenburg

Olivia Hallinan, Leon Ockenden and Philip Franks star in Terence Rattigan’s Flare Path, which comes to Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre on Monday, November 23, and runs until Saturday, November 28.

Based on Rattigan’s experiences as a tail gunner during World War Two, Flare Path paints a 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, Flare Path 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.

Guildford audiences will remember Olivia Hallinan’s portrayal of Lotty in Lotty’s War. Now she returns to the Guildford stage as Patricia Graham. Olivia’s numerous television credits include Laura Timmins in Larkrise to Candleford and Kim in the award-winning series Sugar Rush.

Leon Ockenden, who will play Peter Kyle is best known for his television roles as Prince Serge De Bolotoff in Mr Selfridge, Hector Reid in Waterloo Road, Dr Chris Oakley in Heartbeat and Sam Taylor in Family Affairs.

Philip Franks, who will play Squadron Leader Swanson, is perhaps best known for his television roles as Charley in The Darling Buds of May and Sergeant Craddock in Heartbeat, as well as Tom Pinch in Martin Chuzzlewit and Richard in Bleak House.

Tickets on 01483 440000 or by visiting the website at

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