A PLAY centred on the experiences of pilots and their loved ones during the Second World War will be performed in Abingdon as part of RAF 100th anniversary celebrations.

Flare Path by playwright Terence Rattigan was inspired by his time as a tail gunner during the conflict and paints a portrait of life in wartime Britain for the RAF bomber crews, as well as their wives and sweethearts as they waited for their return.

The subject matter struck a chord with Lin Cowley, who is directing Abingdon Drama Club’s interpretation of the 1942 play.

She said: “My mum, her brother and my gran and grandad were bombed out of their home in Bristol during the Second World War, leaving them with just the clothes they were wearing.

“My dad signed up for the army at the start of the war and would share his memories with me of the people and places he experienced. He was a promising young singer in Wales and his life was put on hold because of the war.

“This play has made me reflect anew on the impact of war and the impact on my dad, my mum’s family and thousands like them.”

The story begins at the Falcon Hotel on the east coast of England in 1942, where men from an RAF airbase are planning to spend the weekend with their wives. Patricia Graham, an actress from London, has something to tell her RAF pilot husband Teddy.

The situation is complicated when Peter Kyle, a Hollywood film star, arrives at the hotel, and Teddy is sent out on a night raid over Germany.

His wife is torn between a rekindled old flame and loyalty to the husband who relies on her for support.

Ms Cowley, who has been a member of the club acting, directing and stage managing for almost 30 years, said: “This play captures wartime Britain and the people who lived through it beautifully.

“But it is not just about war. It is about human emotion and loyalty and courage.

“There is humour and there is pathos too.

“I love it and I know people who come along will love it too.

"A moving and enjoyable evening’s entertainment awaits everyone at the beautiful old Unicorn Theatre.”

Tickets are now available via abingdon-drama-club.com for £10 or £8 concessions.

They can also be purchased at The Bookstore, Bury Street.

The play will be performed between July 4 and 7 at 7.30pm.