Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Theatre Review: 'The Deep Blue Sea' by Terence Rattigan

Hi everyone,

I had the pleasure of watching Terence Rattigan's 'The Deep Blue Sea' twice at the Minerva Theatre, at the Chichester Festival Theatre on the 16th & 17th July 2019.


Nancy Carroll - Hester Collyer
Gerald Kyd - Sir William Collyer
Hadley Fraser - Freddie Page
Denise Black - Mrs Elton
Matthew Cottle - Mr Miller
Ralph Davis - Philip Welch
Laurence Ubong Williams - Jackie Jackson
Helena Wilson - Ann Welch

Act One begins with Hester lying unconscious in front of the fire. She is found by her neighbours Philip and Ann Welch, along with their housekeeper Mrs Elton. Mrs Elton goes to get help from another tenant of hers called Mr Miller, and Philip and Ann suggest that they try to get in contact with a relative of hers as her husband is nowhere to be seen. So, they inform her husband Sir William Collyer, who is a well respected judge and he comes round to Hester's flat straight away. Once William arrives he asks Mrs Elton to leave, and Hester asks him how much does he know about what happened, and he has been told just enough to stop her lying to him. While William is round Mr Miller comes in to check on Hester, and William thanks Mr Miller for helping her. Soon afterwards William has to leave Hester, as he is due in court in fifteen minutes, but he wants to make sure that Hester will be alright before he goes to court.

Act Two begins with Freddie talking to Jackie Jackson over why Hester tried to take her own life, and it was because Freddie didn't remember that it was Hester's birthday the previous day. Freddie wants Hester's divorce to hurry up. After Freddie has left, William comes to see Hester as she has offered him around for tea. But, because William's and Hester's moments are special he doesn't want her to waste those moments by her making tea in the kitchen. He also asks Hester if should would like to go out somewhere, but she wants to stay in to see what happens with Freddie. Freddie arrives back home and notices William. He asks Hester if she has seen Mr Miller, as he hasn't been to the club.

Act Three begins with Hester making a phone call to find out where Freddie is. Then Mrs Elton comes round to check to see if Hester is okay. While Mrs Elton is round at Hester's; Ann also comes round, as she wants to know if her husband Philip is there as he has been out with Freddie. Ann doesn't like being alone. Everyone in Mrs Elton's flats heard the argument between Hester and Freddie.

  Soon after, William comes to see Hester; he is dressed in a dinner jacket as he has had guests round for dinner that evening. William advises Hester to get out of the flat, as he doesn't like the idea of her being alone in the flat. But, she doesn't know of anywhere where she could go. Hester offers William a drink, but Freddie has finished off the bottle of whiskey. So, she offers him a bottle of Claret that she opened the night before and they toast to "the future". William offers Hester a different future, but she no longer wants to be his wife. But, William is more in love with Hester now than on their wedding day.
  Philip turns up by letting himself in with a key that Freddie gave him. Philip has come to collect Freddie's bag, as he needs it for that night. Hester asks Philip to check in on Ann before he goes back too Freddie, as she is getting worried about Philip.

Gerald and Nancy work beautifully together as Hester and William Collyer, as they are a natural pairing that manages to create something magical throughout the production. Gerald makes William both compassionate and caring, while still showing that he still loves Hester despite her loving Freddie. Nancy makes Hester both subtle and delicate when she is with William, but also powerful and passionate when she is with Freddie. I really enjoyed Hadley's entrance as Freddie, as he gives Freddie 'bounds of energy'. Denise  portrays her character as Mrs Elton as someone who tries to help in anyway they can, and whose heart is also in the right place. Helena and Ralph play Ann and Philip Welch with young innocence and who are also concerned for Hester's well being. Mr Miller is played with great gentleness by Matthew, as well as someone who is always looking out for Hester.

Paul Foster's revival of Rattigan's 'The Deep Blue Sea' is a brilliant piece of theatre, as he lets the cast play to their strengths to enable them to bring out the best of their characters. I really enjoyed experiencing a new play where the cast can express true emotions; as well as exploring situations that still happen in today's society.

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