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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Bolton)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Bolton Octagon director David Thacker delivers again with his production of Edward Albee’s award-winning play Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? Set in 1950s America, this is a poignant and symbolic piece of writing that has been translated into visual perfection.

Focused around four characters - George (George Irving), Martha (Margot Leicester), Honey (Tammy Joelle) and Nick (Kieran Hill) - the narrative is at once filled with bleakness and humour, both couples playing a series of games in an effort to hide some of their most painful truths. It’s not Virginia Woolf they are afraid of, rather it is the prospect of unveiling their illusions...

The cast are extremely tight, getting laughs in all the right places and never faltering in terms of stage presence and accents.
In particular- Irving shines as George, with his dry delivery and natural flair for performing. His rapport with each character is flawless, and the difficult task he faces of portraying a fine line between heartache and facade is something that he attacks with panache and ease.

The use of the round has been well blocked, with every audience member being offered an equal share of the action.
There is only one moment though in Act One - just before the entrance of Honey and Nick - where guidelines became a slight problem. And in the same act, the volume of delivery needed to be turned up a notch but thankfully this problem fixed itself as the play progressed.

Clever and thought-provoking -Who's Afraid Of Virgnia Woolf is a play that needs to be on any theatre-lover’s ‘to-go-to’ list. Don’t let the unusual 3-hour length scare you - if you are going to leave screaming, it will only be for more...

- Rebecca Cohen


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