Terence Rattigan’s devastating masterpiece, a classic study of forbidden love, suppressed desire and the fear of loneliness – but at heart a deeply moving love story.
A flat in Ladbroke Grove, West London. 1952. When Hester Collyer is found by her neighbours in the aftermath of a failed suicide attempt, the story of her tempestuous affair with a former RAF pilot and the breakdown of her marriage to a High Court judge begins to emerge. With it comes a portrait of need, loneliness and long-repressed passion.
Behind the fragile veneer of post-war civility burns a brutal sense of loss and longing.
First performed in 1952, The Deep Blue Sea was revived at the National Theatre in 2016, in a production directed by Carrie Cracknell and starring Helen McCrory as Hester.
'Few dramatists have written with more understanding of the human heart' Michael Billington
'a devastating portrait of a woman adrift on love's ocean, desperately afraid of loneliness and blighted by the social conventions of the early Fifties'
'A powerful portrait of emotional turmoil'
Sir Terence Rattigan was one of the most popular English 20th-century dramatists. His first play, First Episode, was produced in 1934; his best-known later works include After the Dance, Flare Path, The Browning Version and The Deep Blue Sea. Many of his plays have been adapted for film, and are frequently revived. He also served as an RAF tail gunner in WWII.