Are you trying to put people off?

RE The Deep Blue Sea at Chichester Festival Theatre – does Phil Hewitt actually want to put people off going to see plays at our wonderful theatre?

I have seen reviews by him before, slating a play for being dated (eg Equus, which is recognised as being a fine play of its era).

Terence Rattigan was one of the most successful writers in the first half of the 20th century. His plays are well crafted and socially satirical. This is why we are celebrating his centenary.

Yes, the dialogue is a bit BBC correct compared with what you hear nowadays, but it is a period piece of the 1950s and the actors were performing authentically.

The set and costumes all reflect this authenticity.

It is unfair to write of ‘a callous drunk and his needy suicidal mistress’ – a phrase which belies the characters Rattigan portrayed.

It is surely not a good idea for a local critic reviewing a play for a local theatre to damn with such faint praise.

Please go to see The Deep Blue Sea for yourselves, You may find it a lot more rewarding than Phil Hewitt did.

Claire Cox,


Editor’s note: Phil is as entitled to an opinion as you are, Claire – and the Observer is always happy to publish any views of the productions put on locally. Like you, Phil writes as he sees – and he certainly would never try to put people off attending the theatre. He writes what he thinks – and then allows theatre-goers to make up their own mind. As well as a review of a local production, we often carry many previews and interviews regarding the show – and we publish that regardless of whether Phil personally likes the play or not.