Terence Rattigan – The Deep Blue Sea

Kimberly Bowman Coordinator of Academic Programs

Kimberly Bowman
Coordinator of Academic Programs








Terence Rattigan

Terence Rattigan

Inspired by the personal life tragedy of British playwright Terence Rattigan, The Deep Blue Sea tells the story of Lady Hester Collyer, as set in Ladbroke Grove, West London in 1952. In the midst of a successful career as a writer in London, Rattigan had experienced the loss of his partner, actor Kenneth Morgan, to suicide. The narrative of Hester Collyer expresses the deep torment and sorrow that Rattigan himself experienced as a gay man, living in a time where his sexuality, his secret relationship, and his love were completely objectionable in society. The first performance of Rattigan’s play took place in London, on March 6, 1952, and received immediate critical acclaim. In the U.S., The Deep Blue Sea made its Broadway premiere in 1953.


The tale centers round Collyer’s deep desperation resulting from an unrequited love, which inevitably brings her to a suicide attempt. Collyer, the wife of a High Court judge, is involved in a turbulent affair with RAF pilot, Freddie Page. Her passion, now unanswered by her lover, brings her to her breaking point.


Helen McCrory

Helen McCrory

The dramatic opening scene of the National Theatre’s production of Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea reveals a tragic Collyer, collapsed in front of a gas fire following her suicide attempt. The role of Collyer, performed by actor Helen McCrory, has been hailed as one of the greatest female roles in contemporary drama. The play, directed by Carrie Cracknell, also stars Tom Burke in the role of Freddie Page and Peter Sullivan in the role of William Collyer.


The FAU Lifelong Learning Society (LLS) Jupiter is now partnering with National Theatre Live which broadcasts world-class theatre and the Bolshoi Ballet productions to cinemas in the United Kingdom and internationally.  Through this partnership, LLS Jupiter will bring the National Theatre pre-recorded presentation of The Deep Blue Sea to LLS on Friday, May 19, 2017 from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.  This program will have an intermission.


Tickets are $20 for members and non-members.

To register for the National Theatre Live pre-recorded broadcast The Deep Blue Sea, visit www.fau.edu/llsjupiter.

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One comment on “Terence Rattigan – The Deep Blue Sea
  1. Paul Newton says:

    Thank you Kimberly for providing this nice description of this play. The play sounds very interesting and I look forward to attending. Best Wishes Paul