Melanie Sykes - Review Of The Deep Blue Sea

Theatre Review: The Deep Blue Sea

It is fair to say that Helen McCrory is my favourite actress. She is utterly mesmerising and totally believable in all that she does, so when I heard she was starring in a play at the National Theatre, I had to see it,

The Deep Blue Sea was written by Terence Rattigan in 1952, and is set in a flat in Ladbroke Grove, the home of Hester Collyer, played by McCrory.  Hester is found by her neighbour in the aftermath of a failed suicide attempt, and the play tells the story of her tempestuous affair with Freddie Page, a former RAF pilot played by Tom Burke.

All the players are brilliant and I particularly loved Peter Sullivan who plays the respectable Sir William Collyer, Hester’s husband. Even though she left that side of her life for good reason, you can’t help wanting him to succeed in ‘saving’ her whilst at the same time thinking if you don’t want him, I’ll have him.

It is a play about loneliness, loss and longing which all sounds rather dour, and it did induce tears, but there are many hilarious moments to lifts its sad spirit.

Helen’s character is not left for a moment to contemplate her actions as her action is demanded throughout the story. My heart bleeds for her in her despair. Her vulnerability is palpable.

The thread of the story is a study as to why we are drawn to strong sexual chemistry with others when we know deep down that can be bad for us and often not enough. When you give everything to a relationship with not much return and then have to find the strength to cut all ties.

As a period drama, obviously there are references that  date the piece, but the themes are as relevant today as human nature always remains the same.

A wonderful production with an extremely positive message. A must see.


Until September 21. Tickets: 020 7452 3000;

Live performances can be seen at the cinema from Sept 1st go to

Melanie Sykes Signature