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Do YOU have a connection to Coventry and Warwickshire’s RAF Bomber Command?

Posted on 28 October 2015

From Tues 3 – Sat 7 Nov, the Belgrade Theatre will play host to the UK touring production of Terrence Rattigan’s Flare Path, an evocative portrait of life in wartime Britain as seen through the eyes of an RAF bomber crew and the loved ones they left behind.

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, as their 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.

To mark the show’s arrival in Coventry and to help commemorate the Coventry and Warwickshire RAF’s vital contribution to the war in the skies, the Belgrade is appealing for families with connections to the RAF to come forward to share their stories.

Coventry was home to two active RAF basis between 1936-1945, RAF Antsy and Baginton. The Baginton airfield was originally opened in 1936 as one of the first aircraft manufacturers to produce Whitley bombers. The airport was quickly prerssed into use as a fighter station by the RAF, becoming RAF Baginton for the duratioon of the war. RAF Baginton was principal home to the 308 Krakow Squadron between 1940-41 and to the Coventry and Warwickshire 605 Squadron of the Royal Auxillary Airforce, who were based at Baginton with Hurricaines in 1940. Several fighter squadrons including the Madras Presidency, Canadian and 616 South Yorkshire Squadrons also had brief postings to the airbase between 1941-42. Both airbases played a vital role in the defence of the city of Coventry between the years of 1940-41, flying Hurricaines and later Spitfires in the frontline fight against the Luftwaffe.

The Belgrade is particularly keen to hear from individuals and families with connections to the 308 Krakow Squadron who were stationed at RAF Baginton between 1940-1941.

This brand new production of Flare Path is directed by rising star Justin Audibert who is best known to Coventry and Warwickshire audiences as the Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s critically acclaimed production of The Jew Of Malta earlier this year. The production stars Heartbeat’s Philip Franks as Swanson, TV and stage actress Olivia Hallinan as Patricia and Mr Selfridge and Waterloo Road actor Leon Ockenden as Peter Kyle. This major revival comes from the producers behind the hit touring production of Birdsong.

Do you or a member of your family have connections to the RAF? If so, we want to hear from you. To share your stories, contact Kate Evans (Communications Officer – Press and Digital Media) at Tel: 024 7684 6715 or email: Kevans@belgrade.co.uk

Tickets to Flare Path are priced from £12 – £27 and are available via the Belgrade Theatre Box Office on 024 7655 3055 or online where tickets are cheaper at www.belgrade.co.uk

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