The Sacred Flame by W. Somerset Maugham
I watched this play performed about ten years ago at the Empire. It’s a play you could watch over and over again. A play which exerts a fascination with life, and deep human relationships, of murder, mystery and a spot of intrigue throwh in with a twist at the end.
If you enjoy Poirot, or Midsummer Murders, a bit of Miss Marple or Agatha Christie then the “whodunit” in you will no doubt enjoy this meaty little play.
The plot centres on WWI hero Maurice Tabret who is left disabled after a flying accident and lovingly tended to by his mother, his beautiful wife Stella and the devoted Nurse Wayland. When he dies unexpectedly, the doctor cites natural causes but his nurse points the finger of guilt and suspicion on his wife.
Maugham certainly keeps his audience on the edge with this play and raises big questions about love’s transcience and the notion of euthanasia.
From tonights play I found the actors first rate and its obvious Somerset Maugham knew a thing or two about writing for women.
He gives them clear stagescape to perform and it’s that which they do to a tee.
Although ‘The Sacred Flame'(1928) presented by the English Touring Theatre has age to it, it has by no means aged.
The issues raised on stage can still be cited today and just goes to show that there is no more a better play to be performed to todays audience, which puts a twist on the classic murder mystery, part thriller, part love story written by this enduringly popular playwright and novelist.
A marvelous production well worth a visit …that’s if you can get a ticket for this tense and graceful play which becomes an absorbing reflection on onself and a fascinating exploration of love, devotion and family .
Tickets 0151 709 4776
Mats: Thurs 1.30pm and Sat: 2pm