Terence Rattigan’s Plays

Terence Rattigan Brief Biography

A photo of Terence RattiganSir Terence Rattigan (1911-1977) was a dramatist who wrote some of the most memorable plays of the twentieth century. He was the son of a diplomat, educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Oxford, and embarked on a career as a playwright early on.

His career as a successful dramatist ran from the opening of his first adult work on the London stage in 1933, First Episode, written with a friend while he was still an undergraduate at Oxford, until his death shortly after the London opening of his last completed stage work Cause Célèbre. During that time he completed 25 full length stage plays, plus numerous one-act plays, radio, television and film scripts. His plays include The Browning Version, The Winslow Boy, The Deep Blue Sea and Separate Tables. Two of his plays ran for over 1,000 performances in London’s West End and another four for over 500. His films include The Sound Barrier, The Prince and the Showgirl, The VIPs, The Winslow Boy, The Deep Blue Sea and The Yellow Rolls Royce. Today, more than 30 years after his death, his plays are still performed all over the world.

The video which follows provides some interesting insight into the way in which contemporary audiences and critics interpret his plays and the way in which he captured the tensions fracturing middle-class society at the time.


His Plays:

  • 1933: First Episode
  • 1935: A Tale of Two Cities
  • 1936: French Without Tears
  • 1938: Follow My Leader
  • 1939: After the Dance
  • 1940: Grey Farm
  • 1942: Flare Path
  • 1943: While the Sun Shines
  • 1944: Love in Idleness (played in U.S. as O Mistress Mine)
  • 1946: The Winslow Boy
  • 1948: Harlequinade
  • 1948: The Browning Version
  • 1949: Adventure Story’
  • 1950: Who is Sylvia? (filmed as The Man Who Loved Redheads)
  • 1952: The Deep Blue Sea
  • 1953: The Sleeping Prince (filmed as The Prince and the Showgirl)
  • 1954: Separate Tables
  • 1958: Variation on a Theme
  • 1960: Ross
  • 1960: Joie de Vivre.
  • 1963: Man and Boy
  • 1970: A Bequest to the Nation
  • 1973: In Praise of Love
  • 1976: Duologue


  • 1977: Cause Célèbre