Choice: Theatre

The Deep Blue Sea, Manchester Royal Exchange (0161-833 9833)

Terence Rattigan fell from grace when John Osborne stormed the stage with Look Back in Anger in 1956, a theatrical example of throwing the baby out with the bath water. The depth and astonishing power of this magnificently constructed play was rediscovered a few years ago when Penelope Wilton assumed the role of Hester, the woman who abandons privilege for private passion, and reduced strong men to tears. Now Marianne Elliott directs the marvellous Susan Wooldridge (above) in a vivid portrayal of helpless love, to the bewilderment of her husband, trusty Thomas Wheatley, who heartbreakingly cannot comprehend her love for Freddie, superbly played by Paul Hickey. A sharp and timely reminder that old-fashioned is not the same as dull. David Benedict

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