Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf – a triumph for Imelda Staunton and Conleth Hill

If you think you have a turbulent relationship you have not seen anything like Martha and George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Director: James MacDonald

Starring: Imelda Staunton, Conleth Hill, Luke Treadaway and Imogen Poots

Running time: 3 hours and 10 minutes

Theatre: Harold Pinter Theatre, London

Dates: May 27 last performance

The production, a 1962 play by Edward Albee, examines the breakdown of the marriage of the middle-aged couple Martha and George.

One evening, after a university faculty party, they receive an unwitting younger couple Nick and Honey as guests and draw them into their bitter and frustrated relationship.

At the start of the play we are introduced to Martha (Imelda Staunton) and George (Conleth Hill) who stumble into their home after a night of drinking.

Immediately you gain a sense of their relationship through their dialogue and you cannot help but laugh especially at the reoccurring statement that George is six years younger than Martha.

With the production in three parts, it does seem to drag on but with the cast you are kept hooked and engaged throughout the whole play.

Staunton proves just how much of a star she is during this production. Her ability to portray the fragile mind set of Martha as well as keeping the audience entertained throughout.

It is no surprise Staunton was incredible as Martha but Hill’s performance of George was just as enjoyable to watch.

Known for his portrayal as Varys in Game of Thrones, Hill was perfect at bringing to life George and their turbulent relationship together.

Nick (Luke Treadaway) and Honey (Imogen Poots) also make the production worthwhile to see. It seems all the characters have their issues and problems and it is as the play goes on more and more of these come to the forefront.

Despite already seeing the 1966 film adaptation starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton I already knew the story and twists.

But seeing it on stage was a completely different experience. The brilliant writing by Albee does help with the production but the delivering of the script by Hill and Staunton added that little extra.

With a running time of more than three hours the atmosphere of the play starts in a comedic way but the end of the production will leave you feeling sorry for Martha and George.

Her last words ‘I am George’ will haunt you as you leave the theatre.

The production is definitely a must see for everyone. Staunton, Hill, Poots and Treadaway are truly amazing portraying their respective characters.

Performed at the Harold Pinter Theatre, in London, the show will run until May 27.

Image by John Persson

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