Hollywood’s Kathleen Turner (pictured) will return to the West End in the new year when she accompanies the Broadway transfer of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Anthony Page’s revival of Edward Albee’s 1962 classic will have a strictly limited season at the West End’s Apollo Theatre from 31 January to 13 May 2006 (previews from 20 January).

George and Martha have been married 23 years. He teaches at a small New England College run by Martha’s father. At one time, George’s future as a possible successor to his father-in-law was bright. But it didn’t happen. Now, as Martha says he’s just “a bog” in the history department. On a particularly bitter night, a good-looking young biology professor and his wife arrive for a nightcap and soon become blood sport during a booze-drenched evening.

Turner caused a stir when she made her West End debut originating the role of seductress Mrs Robinson – including a brief nude scene – in Terry Johnson’s stage version of The Graduate (See News, 30 Mar 2000). She is best known internationally for her many film credits including Body Heat, Romancing the Stone, Peggy Sue Got Married and The War of the Roses.

In Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Turner is joined by the rest of the original Broadway cast: Bill Irwin, who won this year’s Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for his performance as George, and David Harbour and Mireille Enos as the young couple, Nick and Honey.

The last major London outing for Albee’s classic starred Diana Rigg and David Suchet in the Almeida’s 1996 production, which moved to the West End’s Aldwych Theatre.

With the new transfer, director Anthony Page will have two productions – both of American classics – side-by-side on Shaftesbury Avenue. His revival of Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana, starring Woody Harrelson and Clare Higgins, opens 5 December 2005 at the Lyric Theatre.

Currently at the Apollo, the Donmar Warehouse production of Schiller’s Mary Stuart, starring Harriet Walter and Janet McTeer, finishes its run on 14 January 2006. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is produced by Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer for Nimax, Jenny Topper, Lee Dean and Ian Osborne.

- by Terri Paddock