“It’s an honour just to be nominated…” Come award season, these words are often heard but you do have to wonder what it feels like to be the only member of a four person ensemble that isn’t up for an Olivier Award.
There are few theatrical pleasures greater than witnessing the formidable Imelda Staunton graft fresh insights onto a well-known role: it can be almost as exhausting to watch as to do since you can’t look away.
The shared vacuum of George and Martha’s lives is filled by bitter sniping, infidelity and alcohol, the pain of their desperate mutual neediness broken one night by a drunken and impromptu invitation to Nick and Honey, a much young married couple, newly employed on the college’s staff.
It’s a sensational piece of writing that barely seems to have aged since its 1962 debut, such is the sharpness of its caustic wit as Martha spouts forth her bitterness at life-plans gone awry and George’s morose demeanour gives way to no less wickedly pointed vitriol.
A classic reborn with a Rolls Royce cast! Check out these newly released production images of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, starring Conleth Hill and Imelda Staunton as warring George and Martha, along with Luke Treadaway and Imogen Poots.