Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Ensemble Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf Genevieve Lemon, Darren GilshenanFrom one of the most critically acclaimed playwrights of the 20th Century, Ensemble Theatre presents Edward Albee’s masterpiece Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?

Immortalised by the Academy Award winning film adaptation, the story is unwittingly familiar: Academic couple George and Martha have invited their new colleagues over for drinks. It’s a seemingly innocent occasion, but there’s a hidden agenda at play. As the booze flows, the night gets darker and so does the conversation, until the drama spirals towards its explosive and cathartic conclusion.

This award winning play with it’s intense, engaging and dynamic dialogue will be brought to life under the direction of one of Sydney’s most exciting directors, Iain Sinclair with Darren Gilshenan and Genevieve Lemon taking on the iconic roles of washed-up College Professor George, and his volatile and seductive wife Martha. Rounding out the cast, Claire Lovering and Brandon McClelland star as the young, college couple Honey and Nick.

This is Sinclair’s directorial debut for Ensemble Theatre. Highlights of his career include critically acclaimed productions of Our Town for STC at the Opera House, his own translation of Lorca’s Blood Wedding, The Beast by Eddie Perfect and Of Mice and Men which received a record ten Sydney Theatre Award nominations and won 3, including Best Director.

When Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf debuted in 1962 it was amusing, enthralling and shocking for theatregoers with its brutal view of marital discord. Generations later, it is as powerful today, as it was back on Broadway in the sixties. Staged at The Greek Theatre, Marrickville, the intimate space casts the audience as voyeurs, promising an up-close-and-personal encounter with George and Martha.

Edward Albee was an American playwright known for works such as The Zoo Story (1958), The Sandbox (1959), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962), and A Delicate Balance (1966). Three of his plays won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (A Delicate Balance, Seascape – 1975, Three Tall Women – 1994), and two of his other works won the Tony Award for Best Play (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – 1963, The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? – 2002).

His works are often considered as frank examinations of the modern condition. His early works reflect a mastery and Americanization of the Theatre of the Absurd that found its peak in works by European playwrights such as Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, and Jean Genet.

His middle period comprised plays that explored the psychology of maturing, marriage, and sexual relationships. Later in his life, Albee continued to experiment in works such as The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (2002). Albee passed away in September of last year.

“A wry and electric evening in the theatre… punctuated by comedy and laughter shot through with savage irony… wildly and humanely hilarious… brims over with howling furies that do not drown out a fierce compassion.” – The New York Times (Original Review)

Director: Iain Sinclair Featuring: Darren Gilshenan, Genevieve Lemon, Claire Lovering, Brandon McClelland Set and Costume Designer: Michael Hankin Assistant Set and Costume Designer: Jeremy Allen Lighting Designer: Sian James-Holland Wardrobe Coordinator: Renata Beslik Stage Manager: Danielle Ironside

Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
Ensemble Theatre, 78 McDougall Street, Kirribilli
Season: 17 May – 18 June 2017 (previews continue to 16 May)
Information and Bookings: www.ensemble.com.au

Image: Genevieve Lemon and Darren Gilshenan star in Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? (supplied)