Tired of the cliché fairytale romance? Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre’s production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? offers a chance to see a classic play which provides a raw and real depiction of the way we sometimes treat people we love. Director Brian Richmond describes the dark and humorous play about modern marriage as a “tragic-comic bitch fest” and “one of the great plays of the modern theatre.”
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was written by American playwright Edward Albee and opened on Broadway in 1962. The story takes place at a small New England university where a married couple invite a new professor and his wife back to their house after a party.
As the night unfolds, and the characters continue to drink, Martha and George engage in “games” which are thinly veiled attacks filled with relentless verbal abuse towards each other and their guests. The more the couple brutally humiliate each other, the more their pretences are stripped away and their dirty secrets are revealed.
Martha is played by Meg Tilly, an Academy Award nominee who has starred in such films as The Big Chill and Agnes of God. She moved away from film work when she became a mother, and occupied her time writing several novels and raising her three children. Now she is returning to the stage for the first time in over three decades.
She joins Andrew Wheeler, playing the role of George, who has an impressive range of experience including eight seasons of Bard on the Beach, a cross-Canada tour playing Eadward Muybridge in Studies in Motion, and three years in the cast of Mamma Mia at Toronto’s Royal Alex.
Recent Uvic Theatre graduate Alex Plouffe is playing Nick, the clean-cut biology professor, and Jessie Award-winner Celine Stubel plays Nick’s 26-year-old wife Honey.
Together with other local talent, and a brilliant behind-the-scenes team including Cat Haywood as costume designer, Rebekah Johnson as lighting director, and Carole Klemm on set design, Blue Bridge brings this timeless production to the stage at the McPherson Playhouse.
“Hopefully everyone in the theatre will leave feeling like they understand the human condition a little bit more,” says Meg Tilly.
“It’s an incredibly complex play that has to do with human relationships. Anyone who has been in a relationship, which is pretty much everyone, will be able to relate… Sometimes love can be incredibly destructive.”
Director Brian Richmond adds that the audience will “find it shocking how these sometimes repugnant, sometimes charming, often funny and always deeply human characters are so much like themselves.”
With the play’s powerful and deeply moving script, and the multitude of talent, Martha and George’s emotional huffing and puffing is sure to blow audiences away. M
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Opens Thursday, July 7 and runs until Sunday, July 17 at the McPherson Playhouse (#3 Centennial Square)
Tickets: $42.75 for adults; $37.50 for students/seniors 250-386-6121 or rmts.bc.ca
By Kelly Dunning