Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The sell-out success returns

A few ways to describe Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Savage. Jet-black comedy. Must see.

Red Stitch Theatre’s sell-out success returns to the stage for a strictly limited season. Real-life theatre couple, Kat Stewart and David Whiteley, play married couple Martha and George. (Roles made famous by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the film version of the play.)

There’s a fine line between passion and revulsion and the chemistry between Martha and George sizzles. With razor sharp wit and decades of seething resentment, George and Martha attack each other with scathing dialogue. Unwitting young colleagues Nick and Honey are drawn into the couple’s relationship games over the course of one booze-fuelled night.

Written in 1962 before women could even have credit cards in their own name, Edward Albee’s script still feels familiar today. When approached for the role, lead actress Stewart replied, “I’m very interested in female rage.” The aching disappointment of middle age and being yoked to a partner incapable of living up your expectations is laid bare.

The chance to watch this American classic live on stage piqued my interest. Seeing director Sarah Goodes name in the bi-line sealed the deal. I’ve come to expect good things at the hands of Goodes. (Her staging of Sunday and Cyrano is still seared into my brain.) The play runs approximately three hours with two intermissions, but her tight production showcases serious acting chops.

Whilst showy, happy-go-lucky musicals have their place on the stage (I hear they’re especially popular during economic depressions). Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf is a different kind of live theatre experience. This savage production is visceral. And it’s wonderful.

Melbourne indie theatre darlings Red Stitch Actor’s Theatre teamed up with commercial producers GWB to bring Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf from a tiny playhouse to Melbourne’s iconic Comedy Theatre in the heart of the city. The show runs for a strictly limited 3-week season. Don’t miss your chance to see this phenomenal production.

– Jenny
Jenny S. is an event adventurer. When she’s not attending live shows, you can find her sipping a creative cocktail and dreaming of warmer days.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? runs until 21 July 2024 at the Comedy Theatre 240 Exhibition St. Book tickets now.

Images: Eugene Hyland
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Good Humans PR