Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
This show has now closed, click here for a listing of current and future London shows
Opened 31 January 2006, closed 13 May 2006 at the Apollo Theatre London
Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin star as George and Martha in a major London revival of Edward Albee's classic play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in a critically acclaimed production originally seen in New York at The Longacre Theatre in 2005.
The cocktails come out and the gloves come off as George and Martha take their guests through the evening from hell. An extraordinary theatrical creation of true depth, vicious comedy and compassionate insight, Albee's masterpiece combines the brilliant, the banal, the vulgar and the poetic.
The critically acclaimed 2005 Broadway cast reprise their roles for this London West End staging: Kathleen Turner as 'Martha' and Bill Irwin as 'George' along with Mireille Enos as 'Honey' and David Harbour as 'Nick'.
"Scorching and exhilarating! Suavely directed by Anthony Page" The New York Post
"The verbal sparring and violence of Albee's early masterpiece remain astonishing, even frightening, yet bitterly, horribly funny... Kathleen Turner was born to play Martha: with her bourbon-and-nicotine croak and strong, masculine jaw, the part might have been written for her... Bill Irwin's George strikes you, initially, as peculiar... but this extraordinary performance grows on you, and by the end you can't imagine George any other way. He may lack for physical presence, for testosterone and drive, but his moral centre is more substantial... A classic production of a classic play." The Sunday Times
"Seductively delicious" USA Today
You might think you know Edward Albee's most famous play backwards... but Anthony Page's new Broadway production - controlled and grave, but also biting and funny - gets performances of such strength and subtlety from its four actors that the play whams home with new force. It looks less merely scabrous (though still savage), more substantial, and at times uncannily contemporary... Kathleen Turner, last seen on the London stage in The Graduate, gives a performance of huge gusts and guts... As her sparring partner and husband, Bill Irwin, is lethally pointed and minutely inflected." The Observer
"Deliciously toxic, acidly funny... a roaring good 'Woolf'" The Washington Post
"Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? is an extraordinary classic that still packs a punch. It is formidably strongly structured and crazily twisted, brilliantly scripted, darkly funny and gripping as the psychosexual games which Martha and George play with their na´ve guests, Honey and Nick, become increasingly merciless... in this long night's journey into tentative day." The Independent on Sunday
Edward Albee on Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: "It's odd isn't it that so many contemporary playwrights are best known for one play, usually an early one and, while often a very good one, not necessarily their finest work. Say Osborne and most people would come up with Look Back In Anger; say Pinter and the response so often is The Birthday Party; Stoppard: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, say Beckett and more often than not you get Waiting For Godot... And I find Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? hung about my neck like a shining medal of some sort - really nice but a trifle onerous. Living playwrights bridle a little at this sort of shorthand, for we all insist - hope? - that we haven't written our best works yet, and we all harbour deep, almost religious faith in our most dismissed or despised efforts. All of the plays I mentioned above are fine works - and the playwrights are fine writers - but each of them has written one or two (or more!) plays which I consider the equal (at least!) of the signature ones. But it's nice to be known for something, and we all take it where we can get it, and it's nice to be admired for something we're proud of... I'm very happy to have written Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf7 I think it's a fine play, and its continued success over the past fourty-four years has contributed to the freedom I feel to pursue my career as I have seen fit, and if there is a history years from now, and if I am a footnote in it, I daresay Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? will be the play identified with my name (or my name with it,) and I, in my shallow grave, will not cavil much."