Cambridge's leading amateur theatre production company

Established 1981

The Deep Blue Sea
by Terence Rattigan   directed by Paul Shepherd

Christ's College Theatre, Cambridge, May 1987

  1. Managing Director
  2. Managing Director

A Review of The Deep Blue Sea

G T Combe
Cambridge Evening News 21st May 1987

With Rattigan's 'The Deep Blue Sea', Bawds continue their policy of producing serious, but middleweight plays, which, to some extent at least, the actors must carry.

Their 'TerraNova' was triumphant; this is good but it will get even better as the run progresses. We are carried into the world of rented accommodation, of the extraordinary in the lives of ordinary people.  Lines seem to emerge from, and return to, the dimension of sadness in everyday living.  One really is reminded of Johnson's 'world bursting with sin and sorrow.'

Hester Collyer's situation is teased out like a detective story as the play progresses.  One always admires Rattigan's craft; but it does tend to a would-be Ibesenish staginess.  Comedy alleviates and heightens the seriousness; the part of Mrs Elton is nicely calculated and well played.  Sally Sancha brings a lacerated, dignified pathos to the central role.  Norman Halsey's William Collyer has warmth, dignity, and resonableness; but perhaps a touch of banality would suit the role.

Jeremy Whitton-Spriggs is splendidly self-involved as the ex-RAF pilot unable to adjust to civilian life: his seriousness, while unexpected, emerges convincingly from the debonair persona developed to cope with the Battle of Britain.  Mr Miller's seriousness - what better ordinary-cum-extraordinary fellow-tenant could Rattigan have? - reassuring: a significant idex of Rattigan's ability. As is Hester Collyer's composure as the curtain falls.

Despite inevitably somewhat histrionic moments, the world and emotions of this play in this production are more real and moving than those of most films shown late night on telervision. (Consider the scene of young Welch talking to Hester about 'real' values). Why not go and see it before not closes on Saturday?