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National Theatre at Home: The Deep Blue Sea

by Terence Rattigan

From 9 to 16 July 2020
Running Time: 2 hours 5 mins with a short interval

National Theatre at Home: The Deep Blue Sea

A flat in Ladbroke Grove, West London. 1952.

When Hester Collyer (Helen McCrory) 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.

BBFC rating 12A when released in cinema.

We’re all about experiencing theatre together.

At a time when you aren’t able to visit National Theatre Live venues or local theatres, we’re excited to bring you National Theatre at Home.

The Deep Blue Sea was streamed as part of National Theatre at Home from Thursday 9 July 7pm on the National Theatre’s YouTube channel, then on demand for one week until Thursday 16 July 7pm.

Some of the best British theatre was free to watch from the comfort of your living room, via YouTube, with each title available for one week.

Thank you to all the amazing artists who have allowed us to share The Deep Blue Sea in this way, during a time when many theatre fans aren’t able to visit their local theatre. 

Audio-described provision for The Deep Blue Sea

An audio-described version of The Deep Blue Sea was also streamed on YouTube. The running time for the audio-described version was 2 hours13 minutes.


Show your support: donate to the National Theatre


  • Text NTATHOME 10 to 70085 to donate £10
  • Text NTATHOME 20 to 70085 to donate £20
UK networks only, Texts cost your donation amount plus one standard rate message.

Donate in GBP from anywhere in the world via PayPal (Gift Aid available in the UK)

Visit our National Theatre at Home page for more donation options and to see the full programme of streaming shows

5 star rating

This production is a stand-out. Helen McCrory is fantastic. Carrie Cracknell directs with total assurance.

The Times
5 star rating

Stunning. Exquisitely sad. Beautifully judged.

Time Out
4 star rating

Helen McCrory blazes.

4 star rating

Achingly good. Helen McCrory delivers one of the performances of the year.

Evening Standard
4 star rating

Helen McCrory floors you.

Sunday Times
4 star rating

Helen McCrory is in a different league.

4 star rating

Intoxicating. Splendid new production.

Daily Telegraph
4 star rating

Deeply moving.

The Stage
4 star rating

Tom Burke is excellent.

Daily Telegraph

Official Trailer | The Deep Blue Sea with Helen McCrory and Tom Burke | National Theatre at Home

Watch the trailer for The Deep Blue Sea with Helen McCrory and Tom Burke at the National Theatre. Terence Rattigan’s devastating post-war masterpiece is a portrait of need, loneliness and long-repressed passion.

More info


James Alper
Mrs Elton
Marion Bailey
Katy Brittain
Freddie Page
Tom Burke
Philip Welch
Hubert Burton
Jackie Jackson
Adetomiwa Edun
Elsie Fallon
Nick Figgis
Nick Fletcher photo portrait
Mr Miller
Nick Fletcher
Ann Welch
Yolanda Kettle
Andrew Lewis
Hester Collyer
Helen McCrory
William Collyer
Peter Sullivan

Production team

Photography (Helen McCrory) by Dean Rogers