BWW Review: WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, Theatre Royal, Glasgow
It's 2 o'clock in the morning and after a university function, Martha invites a new member of the biology department and his wife round for drinks with her and her husband George. George isn't best pleased to have guests at that time of the morning but Martha's father is the president of the university and has instructed her to be nice to the new member of the faculty. The evening starts with subtle digs and jibes between Martha and George but as the alcohol flows things get much darker.
With three acts, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf is a bit of a marathon and it is incredibly impressive the way the actors are able to maintain that level of intensity for the length of the performance. Unfortunately, shortly into Act 2 the building had an emergency evacuation which temporarily broke the spell that had been cast over the auditorium. The actors were undeterred by the disruption and started from the beginning of the scene to ensure that the atmosphere was not lost.
The script is cleverly worded and full of twists and turns. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf examines the cracks in relationships and the fine line between love and hate. While extremely well written, this production relies heavily on the ability of the actors. Sara Stewart is exceptional as Martha, ranging from a fun and flirty beginning to a complete meltdown she seems to cover every human emotion throughout the duration of the play. Robin Kingsland is a worthy opponent as her husband George, the later scenes between the two of them are explosive and almost unbearable to watch.
At around three and a half hours long Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf is not for the faint hearted but this impressive production of a classic is well worth the emotional trauma.