Bruce Arnold

Critic of Public Affairs, writing about art, theatre, music and politics

Review: The Deep Blue Sea

The Deep Blue Sea is Terence Rattigan’s masterpiece and the production at the Gate Theatre is a near-faultless presentation. It works like a difficult jigsaw puzzle, each piece put into position in a breathtaking sequence of what, in their day, would have been called sordid, ordinary events. A love affair comes to an end and everyone is hurt by the catastrophe. The action is encompassed in a single day. The characters are all changed by it. The thread of hope at the end is like the thinnest strand of cotton. We never cease wondering about the infinite frailties of the human heart.

Counter Revolutions in Theatre

There was a time, something over fifty years ago, when a new play by Terence Rattigan created excitement and expectation in the theatre-going public of these islands as well as on Broadway. He was the epitome of playwrighting success, the doyen of Shaftesbury Avenue, the darling of Binky Beaumont’s crew of writers for the stage.