LONDON (AP) — You might not think there’s much overlap between Amy Winehouse and the work of playwright Terence Rattigan, chronicler of upper-crust British stiff upper lips.
But the troubled diva is one of the influences behind Helen McCrory’s searing performance in Rattigan’s play “The Deep Blue Sea” as a well-off woman who leaves her husband to live — in sin and shame, since it’s the 1950s — with a younger man.
The sold-out National Theatre production, screened live in movie theaters around the world starting Sept. 1, is the latest sign of the renaissance of Rattigan, who was one of Britain’s most successful playwrights between the 1930s and the 1950s before falling out of fashion with the rise of a younger generation of “Angry Young Men.”
By the time he died in 1977, Rattigan was seen as safe and staid. But the subject matter of “The Deep Blue Sea” is pretty sensational. When the curtain rises, Hester Collyer has just tried to kill herself in front of her gas fire. She’s trapped between her dutiful High Court Judge husband and her feckless lover Freddie Page, a former World War II fighter pilot sinking into peacetime alcoholism.