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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Review - The Deep Blue Sea - Terence Rattigan

The Deep Blue Sea

Rattigan's play is a complex intertwining of human emotions: obsession, unrequited love, despair, forgiveness.

The story revolves around Hester, unhappy with her illicit relationship with Freddy, the ex World War II flying ace. Her love is unrequited, and the play opens with her attempted suicide. The neighbours in her apartment call attention to her plight. Her ex-husband, a senior judge, comes on the scene. The complexity, mystery, and suspense expands from that point.

Cover of Cover of The Deep Blue Sea (Nick Hern Books)

I enjoyed Titirangi Theatre's nuanced production of the play, directed by Liz Watkinson. Although Hester takes the central role, the other seven roles present very strongly.

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1 comment:

  1. After O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, almost any play would be small potatoes, and Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea is no exception. Rattigan, the charmingly witty boulevardier, attempted something deeper here, based partly on a shattering homosexual relationship of his, and it was originally written as such. But the climate in 1952 Britain was not ready for such frankness, so the middle-aged protagonist, obsessed by a younger man’s flesh and tormented by an unreciprocated passion, became a woman. The Proustian strategy does not fully work here, but we must not minimize Rattigan’s mimetic gift: Hester Collyer, who leaves affluence and an eminent jurist husband for a shabby flat and socially downgrading affair, does not register as a contraption.