Following a successful run at Theatre N16 last year, John Patrick Shanley’s, Danny and The Deep Blue Sea, directed by Courtney Larkin, returns for a London run at The Old Red Lion Theatre. As the audience enters, classic 80’s music plays, a nod to the era in which the play was originally written. While the text has aged a little, it’s the production values here which pick up the slack.
Danny and Roberta find themselves in another-wise empty Bronx bar, both characters have issues. Danny has a hair-trigger temper that results in work mates calling him ‘the beast’. He may have killed a man, but isn’t sure, and his brooding manner does nothing to indicate whether he cares or not. Roberta is divorced with a teenage son who is being brought up by her parents. She has a dark secret that she’s revealed to no-one, but tells all to Danny within a few minutes, as a Catholic she seeks absolution.
The pair wallow in self-pity, go back to Roberta’s room to make love, then lie in bed wallowing some more. There’s a glimmer of hope, for both of them, that they have found what they are looking for, but we never get to find out for sure.