Terence Rattigan's devastating masterpiece, a classic study of forbidden love, suppressed desire and the fear of loneliness - but at heart a deeply moving love story. A flat in Ladbroke Grove, West London. 1952. When Hester Collyer is found by her neighbours in the aftermath of a failed suicide attempt, the story of her tempestuous affair with a former RAF pilot and the breakdown of her marriage to a High Court judge begins to emerge. With it comes a portrait of need, loneliness and long-repressed passion. Behind the fragile veneer of post-war civility burns a brutal sense of loss and longing. First performed in 1952, The Deep Blue Sea was revived at the National Theatre in 2016, in a production directed by Carrie Cracknell and starring Helen McCrory as Hester.