The death of playwright Edward Albee in September 2016 has sparked a resurgence of interest in his work, which has resulted in a revival of his most famous work, “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?” being announced in London. The announcement came from London’s Harold Pinter Theatre that will be home to the revival of the play that made its debut in 1962, but has always proven to be a controversial piece for critics and fans alike.
Albee won three Pulitzer Prize awards for his work, but was denied the prize for “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf” in 1963 because of the themes and profanity of the play, which the award committee criticized for not being uplifting enough. The play went on to become a Broadway success and won the Tony Award for best play and has been an enduring success for the playwright ever since, according to the BBC.
The frevival of the play will star a number of well known faces from the world of theater and TV headed by award-winning actress Imelda Staunton who has recently returned to the London stage after finding success in films and on TV; American audiences will best remember Staunton for her role as “Vera Drake” and for the “Harry Potter” series, but has previously taken home four Olivier Awards for her stage work in London’s West End. Staunton will be joined by “Game of Thrones” favorite Conleth Hill who has appeared in the HBO series as Lord Varys. The all star line-up for the play is completed by director James McDonald, who has recently worked on the re-imagining of “Roots”.
“Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?” has enjoyed an enduring appeal because of the film version of the play starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, which many critics blame for the implosion of their marriage. Imelda Staunton will play Martha, the wife of Hill’s English professor who organizes drinks with a new professor at an American college, an action that opens up long hidden tensions with her husband.