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May 15, 2015 / basabbott

Marital Battlefield


Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Open Space

Wingfield Barns

Edward Albee’s title was a graffiti joke that may have sounded like a good play title.

Giving the main characters the names of George and Martha (cp. the Washingtons) perhaps gave them historical resonance. The imaginary son could be an American symbol for something or other.

Otherwise the play is a matrimonial battlefield, with the games people play in marriage. (cp. Strindberg’s Dance of Death and Frank Marcus’ The Killing of Sister George.)

Albee’s characters are a couple (cp. Arthur & Marilyn or Basil & Sybil) who make you wonder how they ever got together.

A bespectacled Peter Sowerbutts actually looks like Arthur Miller. U.S. accents are not his forte; but he delivers corrosive academic wit with relish.

Yves Green, with a face that can be beseechingly saintly, transforms herself into a loud, Broadway slattern of uncertain age.

The younger couple are as underwritten as those in Private Lives. But Mike Davison and Emma Martin make them live in bewilderment and hurt. David Green directs a brilliantly harrowing evening.

Basil Abbott


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