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15 Oct 2003

terence rattigan's the deep blue sea onstage in s'pore through oct 26

Escape Productions stages gay British playwright, Terence Rattigan's The Deep Blue Sea, which he had written after his male partner committed suicide shortly after leaving him for a another man.

Originally performed in 1952, Terence Rattigan's The Deep Blue Sea is seen to be one of the greatest pieces of British theatre ever written and is considered to be Rattigan's most accomplished, and personal, piece.

The Deep Blue Sea stars Amy Cheng, Jimmy T. and Mark Waite (top to bottom).
While the Singapore production which stars Amy Cheng, Jimmy T and Mark Waite has been adapted and localised, Rattigan's first draft of The Deep Blue Sea (1952), was about his relationship with his male lover, Kenneth Morgan, whom he was living with in the late forties. Morgan, however, after leaving Rattigan to embark on a disastrous love affair with a young male actor, committed suicide using a gas fire.

Rattigan who had never made any public admission of his sexual orientation and kept his relationships with young men secret and with theater censorship still in place in Britain and homosexuality illegal at the time, he knew that he had to rewrite his play if it was ever going to find its way onto the stage.

Co-producer Mark Waite who also plays the part of Freddie Collyer, Hester's lover (in reality Kenneth Morgan) said, "We aim to reveal this play now to gay and lesbian theatergoers - they can share the play in it's reality. We chose to keep the 1950's references, but I believe the themes are just as strong today, especially in Singapore where the laws remain as they were in the UK 50 years ago."

Produced by Edwin Koh and directed by Samantha Scott-Blackhall, the local adaptation opens with the failed suicide of Hester Collyer (Amy Cheng), a local woman, who has deserted her wealthy lawyer husband (played Jimmy T, last seen in The Necessary Stage's Mardi Gras), for a young Englishman (Mark Waite). She is discovered by four others living in her block; a young married couple, Phillip and Ann, the aging landlady and a mysterious 'Doctor' from Malaysia. The play follows Hester through the rest of the day as she tries to make sense of her life, her lover and her estranged husband.

The Deep Blue Sea was revived at The Almeida Theatre, in the West End in 1991, with Penelope Wilton playing the role of Hester to great critical acclaim. The play has been running in both London and on tour in the UK since that date.

In 2001, The Deep Blue Sea was voted one of the top 20 plays and Terence Rattigan one of the most significant playwrights of the twentieth century by the British National Theatre.

The Deep Blue Sea
Venue: DBS Arts Centre, 20 Merbau Road, Robertson Quay
Date/Time: October 15 - 26, 8pm
(Matinees on Sat and Sun at 3pm)
* No shows on Mondays
Ticket Price: $34/29 (excluding $1 SISTIC fee)
Ticketing: 6348-5555/SISTIC


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