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Imelda Staunton stars as Martha in this new West End production.
It has been announced that three-time Olivier Award-winning actress Imelda Staunton will star in a new London production of Edward Albee's 1962 play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in London's West End, beginning performances at the Harold Pinter Theatre from 22 Feburary 2017 with an official opening on 9 March 2017.
The news comes in the same week that author Edward Albee died at the age of 88 following a short illness. The Broadway community yesterday paid tribute to the three-time Pulitzer Prize winner by dimming the lights in his honour.
Imelda Staunton will star as Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, the play that brought Albee much success and cemented his future as a striking voice of American drama. The play was selected for the 1963 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, a decision that was overruled by the advisory committee who objected to the then-controversial language and themes. Game of Thrones star Conleth Hill will play George, with full casting to be announced.
Albee's play examines the breakdown of the marriage of a middle-aged couple living in American academia, George, an associate history professor and Martha, the daughter of the college president. Late one evening following a university faculty party, they invite a younger couple Nick and Honey to be their guests. They're unwittingly draw into George and Martha's bitter and explosive relationship and watch on as the pair spat and fire verbal abuse at each other throughout the evening. It's a profound and explosive example of theatre of the absurd mixed with powerful realism.
Directed by James Macdonald who has previously directed Staunton in the Royal Court’s production of Circle, Mirror, Transformation by Annie Baker and in Albee’s A Delicate Balance at the Almeida Theatre, this new production will be designed by Tom Pye.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? has enjoyed numerous London productions, including a 1996 revival at the Almeida Theatre which transferred to the West End. Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin starred in the London transfer of the 2006 Broadway production which ran at the Apollo Theatre. The play is also fondly remembered for the film version which starred Elizabeth Taylor as Martha and Richard Burton as George.
Imelda Staunton was recently seen in the West End production of Gypsy, for which she won her third Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical, following her roles in Sweeney Todd and Into the Woods. She recently starred in Good People in the West End following a run at the Hampstead Theatre.
Conleth Hill won the 2001 Olivier Award for Best Actor and has been nominated for two Tony Awards. His varied stage credits include the UK premiere of The Producers, The Cherry Orchard, and Democracy at the National Theatre and Stones in His Pockets in the West End and on Broadway.
Tickets to see Imelda Staunton in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? are now on sale.