The season will open with the British Drama, The Deep Blue Sea by Sir Terence Rattigan.
The Deep Blue Sea offers a portrait of a woman caught between forbidden love and the fear of loneliness, or the devil and the deep blue sea. It is now considered one of Rattigan’s greatest triumphs. It was first produced at the Duchess Theatre, London, on 6 March 1952.
The play’s action takes place in the sitting-room of a furnished flat in a block in the north-west of London, over the course of a single day. It begins with the discovery of a body lying in front of a gas fire. Hester Collyer has left her husband, Sir William Collyer, a high court judge, to live with Freddie Page, an alcoholic fighter pilot from the last war. Injured beyond endurance by his continual failure to return her passion, she has tried to commit suicide, and has only failed because the gas meter ran out before she could complete the act. She is discovered by four other residents of the tenement block: a married couple, Philip and Ann Welch, the landlady, Mrs. Elton, and a mysterious ex-doctor, Mr. Miller. The play follows Hester through the rest of the day as the consequences of her attempt induce Freddie to leave her, and threaten to push her towards a second suicide attempt.
The Deep Blue Sea is a study of forbidden love, suppressed desire, and the fear of loneliness – but is at heart a deeply moving love story, a portrait of need, loneliness and long-repressed passion. “…a play that cuts at the heart… a masterpiece.” ~ Daily Telegraph, 2011
One of the greatest plays of the 20th century… an emotionally devastating study of the inequality of love. It has been filmed twice, first with Vivien Leigh and then with Rachel Weiss, and was recently revived to great acclaim at the British National Theatre.