A beautiful, humanist drama about loss, longing, and having the courage to want more, Sydney Theatre Company (STC) presents Terrance Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea at the Roslyn Packer Theatre from 4 February 2020.
It’s 1952 in post-Blitz London and Hester Collyer’s life is in turmoil. She has gambled everything – her home, her status, her marriage to a High Court judge – to pursue a life with the dashing RAF fighter pilot Freddie, and she has lost. Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, the deep blue sea suddenly looks very inviting. But Hester is determined to forge her own path in a repressive age.
Terence Rattigan was one of the great stage and screen writers of the twentieth century and The Deep Blue Sea one of his master works. In Hester, he has created one of the most striking heroines of his era: strong-willed, unconventional and complex. Marta Dusseldorp returns to the STC after an almost decade-long absence to take on the role.
“In a really great play there is usually one line that hits you with a bolt of enlightenment. This play has three,” says Director Paige Rattray. “I’m in awe of Rattigan’s delicate insight into these characters. The Deep Blue Sea has made me feel differently about how to live in the world. It’s a very rare play that can do that.”
“Hester’s is a powerful journey and one that can only be portrayed by a fearless actor who is willing to reach into the depths of their soul to discover why the character makes the choices she does,” adds Rattray. “And our fearless actor is Marta, her willingness to take risks and search the very depths of a character make her the perfect person to collaborate with on this play.”
Marta will be joined by Fayssal Bazzi (Mary Stuart) as the feckless Freddie, iconic performer Paul Capsis, John Adam, Vanessa Downing (How to Rule the World), Charlie Garber (The Real Thing), Brandon McClelland (Saint Joan) and Contessa Treffone (Harp in the South).
Sir Terence Rattigan (1911-77) was a British playwright who is considered one of the most popular English 20th-century dramatists. His works include First Episode, French Without Tears, After the Dance, Flare Path, While the Sun Shines, The Winslow Boy, The Browning Version, Separate Tables, Ross and Cause Célèbre. Many of his plays have been adapted for film, and are frequently revived.
Rattigan served as a flight Lieutenant in the Coastal Command, RAF from 1940 to 1945, and in 1958 he was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). In 1971 he became Knight Bachelor. On his death in 1977, he left his Estate to charity with all royalties from his plays being donated to Denville Hall – a home for retired actors which was founded in 1926.
Director: Paige Rattray Featuring: John Adam, Fayssal Bazzi, Paul Capsis, Vanessa Downing, Marta Dusseldorp, Charlie Garber, Brandon McClelland, Contessa Treffone Designer: David Fleischer Lighting Designer: Nick Schlieper Composer & Sound Designer: James Brown Assistant Director: Kenneth Moraleda
The Deep Blue Sea
Roslyn Packer Theatre, 22 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay (Sydney)
Season: 8 February – 7 March 2020 (4 – 7 February)
Information and Bookings: www.sydneytheatre.com.au
Image: Marta Dusseldorp stars in The Deep Blue Sea – photo by Rene Vaile