Bingley Little Theatre is my local amateur dramatics group and, though I’m hardly a season ticket holder, I do go along to support productions where I can.
The theatre’s 72nd season continues with American playwright Edward Albee’s play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. The comedy is set to be as funny as it is emotional, described as a compelling rollercoaster ride into the darkest depth of love and marriage.
Late one evening, after a university faculty party, an American middle-aged married couple Martha and George, invite a young professor and his wife, Nick and Honey, back to their home for drinks, drawing them unwittingly into their bitter and frustrated relationship. What follows is an explosive, tension-filled, wickedly-entertaining battle of the sexes. We watch as Martha and George tear themselves apart with their toxic verbal games which climax in a moment of devastating truth-telling.
The role of Martha will be played by Katrina Wood who is known well amongst local am-dram societies. Damien O’Keefe, Head of Acting at SLP College in Garforth Leeds will play George. Nick will be played by James Willstrop. I saw him in Hangmen last year and he was very commanding, bringing levels of creepy stage presence the role required. It’ll be interesting to see him take on a new kind of role. Finally, the role of honey will be played by another am-dram veteran, Caroline Auty.
Director Deborah Mouat says: “The title of the play is a mystery, we never learn exactly what it means. It’s thought to be a play on the Disney song ‘Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf’ which George and Martha sing to taunt each other but instead it uses the iconic British writer’s name, perhaps giving a note of authenticity to the play’s campus setting. But also Woolf wrote about ‘truth and veneer’ and this has led some people to think that Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is just another way of asking ‘Who’s afraid to live without illusion?’ Albee suggests that married couples may make up images of themselves for their friends and neighbours and also create illusions for their husbands and wives. Certainly in this play both couples make up fantasies about their lives together.”
Catch Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf from 2nd March – 7th March at Bingley Arts Centre.