Flight To Arras

Directed by Shelley Piasecka
Adapted and performed by Simon Piasecka
Capstone Theatre, Liverpool
29th November 2014

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

An engrossing one-man performance by Simon Piasecka, with the use of minimal props - a blackboard, a bed and an attached wooden desk and chair (imaginatively symbolising the cockpit occupied by the pilot) - took the packed Capstone audience on a sortie in a plane looking down on Arras in occupied France in May 1940 during 2WW.

Taking the role of the pilot, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Piasecka describes, in a succinct manner over 70 minutes, the devastation wrought by war, including destroyed villages, loss of military and civilian lives and the migration of refugees.

Director Shelley Piasecka, the wife of Simon, describes his thoughts of that time of 'trying to understand what it is he would truly die for. It is a rare and beautiful insight into a desperate time of defeat with moments of timeless and universal clarity. It is a prayer for humanity.'

She wanted the audience, in this premiere of Flight To Arras, to paint with their imagination. I definitely believe that this was the case, given the rapturous reception the play received when it finished.

This would make a wonderful radio play, and that is meant as a genuine compliment.

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