Red Stitch’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to play Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre

RSAT Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf Kat Stewart photo by Eugene Hyland

GWB Entertainment, Andrew Henry Presents and Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre have confirmed that the critically acclaimed Red Stitch production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? starring Kat Stewart and directed by Sarah Goodes, has secured a historic and strictly limited 3-week mainstage commercial season at the Comedy Theatre in June 2024.

Regarded as one of the most explosive and darkly comic plays in the English language, and in most pundits’ Top Ten of the 20th Century, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? burst back onto the Melbourne stage in December last year in a new production hailed by critics as “electrifying”, “outstanding” and “pitch-perfect”, with an explosive performance from Kat Stewart at its heart.

In a unique, industry-leading partnership, and for the first time in Red Stitch’s 23-year history, the Melbourne-born contemporary theatre company will have one of its productions transferred from its 80-seat home space in a converted church hall in St Kilda, to a commercial mainstage.

“For years Red Stitch, a theatre company created by and for an ensemble of actors, has been Melbourne theatre’s best-kept secret,” said Red Stitch Artistic Director, Ella Caldwell. “Now four of our ensemble will shine at the beautiful Comedy Theatre in this sublime production directed by Sarah Goodes.”

We are excited to think that this historic deal opens up a new pathway and connection between Melbourne’s vital independent theatre companies and the commercial mainstage in the same way that occurs in major theatre capitals like London and New York.”

On behalf of the producers GWB Entertainment and Andrew Henry Presents who were behind last year’s blockbuster production of Death of a Salesman featuring Anthony LaPaglia, Andrew Henry said: “We instantly knew from Kat Stewart’s explosive performance that she, and this timeless classic, deserved to be seen by a much wider audience,” he said.

“This dynamic Red Stitch production directed by Sarah Goodes, has such unyielding ferocity that we were immediately excited by the prospect of presenting an upscaled version of this extraordinary work at the Comedy Theatre,” said Mr Henry.

This production of Edward Albee’s timeless classic Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, directed by Award-winning director Sarah Goodes, garnered critical success and sold-out its entire 5 week season in a matter of days. Starring alongside Kat Stewart in the ensemble cast are David Whiteley, Emily Goddard and Harvey Zielinski.

When it first burst onto the stage in 1962, the play tapped into a growing unease about notions of decency and respectability, in a vicious dissection of a marriage over years of disappointments. Despite being recommended for a Pulitzer Prize, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was denied by the awards’ advisory board in an objection to the play’s profanity and sexual themes.

The play was later adapted into the award-winning film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and has long attracted other leading performers of their generations including Diana Rigg, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, David Suchet and Imelda Staunton.

In this jet-black comedy featuring some of the most crackling dialogue and savage one-liners ever written for the stage, real-life theatre couple, Kat Stewart and David Whiteley portray Martha and George, whose marriage is served up to their unwitting guests, played by Emily Goddard and Harvey Zielinski, as a taste of the humiliations and the inevitable compromises to come. This masterful play is an ode to the heartbreak of middle age.

Director: Sarah Goodes | Featuring: Kat Stewart, David Whiteley, Emily Goddard, Harvey Zielinski | Set & Costume Design: Harriet Oxley | Writer: Edward Albee

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? plays Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre from 29 June. Tickets on sale from Friday 19 April 2024. For more information, visit: for details. Checkout the trailer here!

Image: Kat Stewart – photo by Eugene Hyland