What the critics are saying about FLARE PATH:
Sienna Miller and James Purefoy are profoundly moving and wonderfully funny in Terence Rattigan's wartime drama. Rating: * * * *
"Sienna Miller's performance as the conflicted actress-heroine of Flare Path is genuinely heart-tugging in the subtle way it communicates this young woman's struggle between patriotic duty and extra-marital desire (in fact it makes those terms seem altogether too bald)."
"Sienna Miller may be the box-office draw, but Trevor Nunn's magnificent revival of Terrence Rattingan's 1942 play is an ensemble achievement. And that seems appropriate for a play that is a tribute to the collective spirit of wartime bomber crews and their partners. Given the circumstances, you'd hardly expect a debate about the morality of the air offensive: what the play provides, with Rattigan's characteristic flair for understatement, is a deeply moving portrait of people at war.
"Nunn's production, using interpolated film of the flight take-off, beautifully captures both the sense of danger and its boozy, raucous aftermath. And the performances are impeccable. Sienna Miller looks suitably strained, tense and taut as the agonised Patricia and James Purefoy admirably conveys the sense of exclusion felt by the movie star caught up in wartime action. Sheridan Smith is also quite stunning as a former barmaid who now finds herself a countess because of her marriage to the Polish pilot: Smith never overdoes the brassiness and there is a heart-stopping moment when her features light up as she learns, from a letter, how much she was loved by her missing-in-action husband."
"Nunn’s production beautifully captures both the Forties small talk and the deeper emotions that lie beneath it, while Stephen Brimson Lewis’s authentically dowdy hotel design is offset with thrilling projections and sound effects of the Wellingtons taking off. Harry Hadden-Paton proves deeply affecting as the apparently confident pilot at the end of his rope; James Purefoy makes you both hate and sympathise with the adulterous Hollywood star; and the wonderful Sheridan Smith gives a performance that cuts at the heart like a knife as the perky countess bravely enduring agonies of doubt."
"Purefoy has movie-star charm to spare, but he goes beyond that to portray Kyle's vulnerability in moving scenes with Miller, who offers a penetrating study of someone torn between two impulses. Lithe and assured, Miller shows through tone of voice and the expression in her eyes how divided are her emotions. The other fliers and their partners are there to provide contrast to the state of the three leads with Sheridan Smith and Mark Dexter outstanding as a bartender and the Polish count she has married. His mangled English provides much welcome laughter in the latter stages of the play and Nunn draws on these scenes to amplify the conundrum faced by the lovers."
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[posted by Louise, 17/03/2011]