Trevor Nunn is to direct Sienna Miller in Terence Rattigan’s Flare Path in the first of a series of productions he will present as Artistic Director of the Theatre Royal Haymarket Company. Opening on 10 March 2011 with previews from 4 March 2011 Flare Path is booking until 4 June 2011. Set and costumes are by Stephen Brimson Lewis. Flare Path is produced by Matthew Byam Shaw for Playful Productions, Tom McKitterick and the Theatre Royal Haymarket Company in association with Act Productions Ltd. Further casting will be announced shortly as well as details of Trevor Nunn’s other productions.
It is 1942. At the Falcon Hotel, on the edge of an airfield in Lincolnshire, Teddy, a young bomber pilot is celebrating a reunion with his actress wife Patricia. Events take an unexpected turn, when Peter a famous heartthrob film star arrives, and an urgent bombing mission over Germany is ordered. As the night gives way to dawn, Patricia finds herself at the centre of a passionate conflict of love and loyalty as unpredictable as the war in the skies.
Flare Path was first performed in the West End at the Apollo Theatre in 1942. It is based on Rattigan’s own Bomber Command experiences when he served as a tail gunner during the Second World War. He later reworked Flare Path into a screenplay and in 1945 the re-titled The Way to the Stars starring Michael Redgrave was successfully released.
Sienna Miller trained at the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York. She was last on stage at Broadway’s Roundabout Theatre playing the title role in After Miss Julie. Her other New York theatre credits include Independence, The School for Scandal and Cigarettes and Chocolate. She was last on stage in the West End playing Celia in Shakespeare’s As You Like It opposite Helen McCrory and Dominic West. Her many film credits include Layer Cake, Alfie, Casanova, Factory Girl, The Interview, Stardust, Camille, The Edge of Love, Hippie Hippie Shake, G.I. Joe and Yellow. On television her credits include Bedtime and Keen Eddie.
Trevor Nunn was the longest-serving Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Shakespeare Company (1968 to 1986). During that time he directed most of the Shakespeare canon, as well as Nicholas Nickleby and Les Misérables. He returned to the RSC to direct King Lear and The Seagull. From 1997 to 2003 he was Director of the National Theatre where his 21 productions included award-winning revivals of Troilus and Cressida, The Merchant of Venice, Summerfolk and The Cherry Orchard, as well as Oklahoma!, My Fair Lady, and Anything Goes. He has directed the world premieres of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, The Coast of Utopia and Rock 'n' Roll, and of Cats, Starlight Express, Aspects of Love, Sunset Boulevard and The Woman in White by Andrew Lloyd Webber. His more recent theatre work includes Hamlet and Richard II at The Old Vic, Timon of Athens and Skellig for the Young Vic, The Lady From the Sea for the Almeida, Scenes from a Marriage for the Belgrade, Coventry, A Little Night Music for the Menier Chocolate Factory, in the West End and on Broadway, Cyrano de Bergerac for Chichester Festival Theatre, Inherit the Wind for The Old Vic and Birdsong at the Comedy Theatre.
Born in 1911 Terence Rattigan became one of Britain’s most important dramatists. His first play French Without Tears was a critical success and was soon followed by titles such as After the Dance, The Winslow Boy, The Browning Version, The Deep Blue Sea and Separate Tables. Several of his plays were adapted for film and television. He was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours of June 1971 for services to the theatre. 2011 marks the centenary of the birth of Terence Rattigan. As well as Flare Path, celebrations for Rattigan’s centenary year will include several major revivals of his plays in London and beyond, including Cause Célèbre at The Old Vic, a new film of The Deep Blue Sea, a season of his films at the BFI, a special display at the British Library, BBC radio productions and the publication of new editions of his work.
A campaign to create a memorial to the achievements of Bomber Command in the Second World War is now reaching its climax, having gained the approval of the Royal Family and Government. Although there remains opposition to the erection of the memorial on moral grounds, the unimaginable bravery of the bomber crews is undeniable, as evidenced in the play.
The Haymarket Theatre Company
In an initiative pioneered by the theatre’s producers, Arnold M. Crook and Nigel Everett, the newly created Theatre Royal Haymarket Company presented their first season of work in 2007/08 under the direction of Jonathan Kent. The season comprised The Country Wife, The Sea and Marguerite. This was followed by Waiting for Godot and Breakfast at Tiffany’s directed by Sean Mathias, Artistic Director of the Theatre Royal Haymarket Company in 2009. Now Trevor Nunn will direct a season of work throughout 2011.
The historic Theatre Royal Haymarket, a Grade 1 listed building built in 1821 by John Nash, was erected on The Haymarket a short distance from the original site which dates back to 1720. In 1994, under the direction of Chairman Arnold M. Crook and the Board of Directors, a £1.3 million investment saw a major overhaul and refurbishment of the theatre, restoring the building to its original glory as well as the modernisation of facilities for both theatregoers and theatre practitioners alike.
Matthew Byam Shaw for Playful Productions
Matthew Byam Shaw has produced new work with the Donmar Warehouse, Almeida, Bush, Lyric Hammersmith, Liverpool Playhouse, Chichester Festival Theatres, Sheffield Theatres, Bristol Old Vic, the Royal Court and the National Theatre. His West End productions include Don Carlos, Humble Boy, Mary Stuart, Boeing-Boeing, Frost/Nixon, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Spring Awakening, Enron, Krapp’s Last Tape and currently Legally Blonde and Yes, Prime Minister. On Broadway he has produced Frost/Nixon (he was also a producer of the Universal/Working Title film), Boeing-Boeing, Mary Stuart, Jude Law’s Hamlet, Enron and most recently Red.
Playful Productions is led by Nia Janis, Nick Salmon and Matthew Byam Shaw. Playful’s team of 18 produces and general manages plays and musicals in the West End, on Broadway, and on tour in the UK and internationally. Productions currently managed by the partnership include Wicked (Apollo Victoria), Dirty Dancing (Aldwych), Shrek, the Musical (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane), Million Dollar Quartet (Noël Coward) and Clybourne Park (Wyndhams).
As well as serving as a dramaturg for the production Tom McKitterick was credited as an Associate Producer on Period of Adjustment directed by Howard Davies at the Almeida Theatre.
FLARE PATH TICKETS ON SALE SOON
Dates: 4 March – 4 June 2011
Press night: 10 March 2011 at 7pm
Performances: Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm, Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm, N.B. there are no matinees on Saturday 5 or Wednesday 9 March