When I saw that a theatrical rendition of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own was coming to the Belvoir St Theatre (6 – 23 May), I was intent on going on for two reasons. Firstly, Belvoir never seem to put a foot wrong and second, A Room of Ones Own is a powerful and moving piece of feminist literature which is as relevant today as when it was written almost 100 years ago.
I simply loved the text of A Room of Ones Own and was curious as to how a stage production could possibly provide the same insight, clarity and wit. The experience was different from your usual theatre experience from the outset as we were back in masks in indoor spaces this weekend. Belvoir managed the crowd and expectations well, with firm instructions to keep our masks on during the performance – it was business as usual, with some modifications. After the lights dimmed, we were transported to 1920s Oxford and our masks were forgotten.
The central focus of A Room of Ones Own is women and fiction. Therefore, it seems only right that three talented and creative women – Anita Hegh and Ella Prince on stage, directed by Carissa Licciardello, would bring this work of art to life.
This stage adaptation is the perfect way to dip your toe into the stream of consciousness style of work for which Virginia Woolf was so well known. Her writing translated beautifully and became conversational, engaging and impactful when delivered on stage. Hegh’s performance breathed fresh life into this seminal text, highlighting how relevant Woolf’s words are today.
After watching Anita Hegh’s dramatic reading of the text last night at the Belvoir St Theatre, I feel I have come to appreciate the original in a whole new light. Woolf’s words exploded with imagery on the stage and provided new context and insight. Anita Hegh was perfect. Expressive, elegant, commanding the attention and respect of the hushed audience who hung on her every word.
The lights cut out to a well-deserved standing ovation.
Elli de Ryckman de Betz has had the pleasure and the privilege of experiencing incredible theatre, fantastic events and culinary delights in her four years writing for The Plus Ones.
Tickets available directly from Belvoir St Theatre to see A Room Of Ones Own until 23 May. New dates have been added from 10 September to 18 October due to popular demand.