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WOS Radio: Purefoy, Smith & Miller Flare at Q&A

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Whatsonstage.com has joined the celebration of the centenary of Terence Rattigan's centenary by hosting two Outings to Rattigan plays in as many weeks. Last night saw 250 theatregoers make their way to the Theatre Royal Haymarket for Flare Path, Trevor Nunn's first production as artistic director at the Haymarket. Starring James Purefoy (returning to the West End for the first time in ten years), Sienna Miller (back from a 2009 stint on Broadway in After Miss Julia) and the unstoppable Sheridan Smith (winner of Whatsonstage.com and Olivier Awards for her role in Legally Blonde) and following rave reviews we were all really looking forward to this war-time drama.

It is 1942. At the Falcon Hotel, on the Lincolnshire coast, Teddy a young RAF bomber pilot celebrates a reunion with his actress wife Patricia. They are thrown into upheaval when Peter, Patricia’s ex-lover and Hollywood heartthrob arrives and an urgent bombing mission over Germany is ordered. Who will make the sacrifice during the long night, as Patricia finds herself at the centre of an emotional conflict as unpredictable as the war in the skies.

An emotive tale of love and loyalty Flare Path had many audience members sniffing and the strength of the performances throughout ensures that you can't help but get caught up in the drama of it all. Sheridan Smith as cheerful Doris captures the comedy and sympathy of her role with skill while the intensity between Purefoy (Hollywoord heartthrob indeed) and Miller (actress Patricia) is almost palpable. All the other members of the cast create an entirely believeable and touchingly British sense of the desperate cheerfulness of war-time.

We were then lucky enough to be joined by the triumvriate - Purefoy, Smith and Miller - for a post-show Q&A which was by turns amusing and thought-provoking. We talked about everything from the research they undertook for their roles, the affect the costumes have on the piece and the power of Rattigan's Work. Purefoy made some interesting comments on this play in relation to British identity while Miller spoke of her pleasure at working with as an acclaimed director as Trevor Nunn while Smith was quite open about her experience of moving from Playboy Bunny costumes to knee-length florals and seamed stockings.

To listen to the full recording of the Q&A, click the 'play' button below; or to subscribe and download from iTunes, click here.

For more photos and commentary from last night’s event, visit our Outings blog and for further information and booking for upcoming Whatsonstage.com Outings, click here.


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