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Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea ranks as one of the best plays I’ve read in 2012. While I liked French Without Tears, it was a letdown in comparison to my first run-in with Rattigan. At a cram school in the French countryside, a collection of young Englishman study, woo the flirtatious Diana (while ignoring the quiet Jacqueline), and talk. Think British upper-class frat house with a heavy sprinkling of French (without translation - my one-semester-in-college grasp of the language struggled, and, al ...more
There is a lot of French in this, which would seem obvious given the title, but as it was written by an Englishman I was a little surprised. For me, it was a little slow-going until the last three scenes. During those, I was actually laughing out loud on the train and I caught myself smiling a lot. A farce involving several men and a couple of women--one of whom is playing with the affections of several men--I thought it was well done and I loved catching the repetition at certain parts.
A little disappointing. It started off charming and fun, but it just didn't end up being well-carried out. There was more language than I can comfortably tolerate, and the characterizations were almost entirely flat. What seemed fun and entertaining in the beginning, without any growth or change, became lifeless and cliche by the too-little-too-late clever ending.