By Richard Watson

Huddersfield Thespians return to the Lawrence Batley Theatre with Edward Albee’s ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’, a play centred on a drunken after-party with a delicious, malicious twist.

College professor George and his wife Martha have invited George’s opportunistic new colleague Nick and his naïve young bride Honey over for a nightcap. But when they arrive, the drinks flow, inhibitions melt and the evening’s psychological games quickly descend into betrayal, recrimination and despair.

Don’t other people’s problems make the best entertainment? This nightmare after-party features profanity, seduction and a devastating secret.

The real question is: ‘Who’s afraid of living life without their comforting illusions?’ George and Martha are. Watch as their carefully-constructed make-believe is stripped away to reveal the hidden truth…

Edward Albee’s ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ was his first full-length work, and won the Tony Award for Best New Play in 1963, as well as two Tonys for the lead actors.

Sadly for Albee, he missed out on the Pulitzer Prize that year, because the play’s fruitier language was a bit too boundary-pushing for the early 1960s.

Audiences might also have seen the 1966 film, which is largely faithful to the original, and stars Hollywood royalty Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Taylor and Burton famously had their own turbulent relationship, just like George and Martha, and they made the film during the first of their two marriages. Critics considered Martha to be Taylor’s greatest ever performance – and she won an Oscar for it.

This play’s Huddersfield cast includes a reunion for Hannah Head and Trevor Jones, who recently impressed audiences as the ill-fated lovers Laura and Alec in this season’s ‘Brief Encounter.’

There’s also a welcome return to the Thespians’ stage for ‘A Christmas Carol’s Jenny Taylor and for Joe Geddes, whose last Thespians production was Mark Gatiss’s popular series of monologues, ‘Queers.’

Edward Albee’s ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ will be performed at the Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield, from May 10 to 13 at 7.15pm every evening. There’s also a 2pm matinee on the Saturday. Tickets are available through the LBT Box Office, on 01484 430528, or online by clicking HERE

Albee’s hit is the final play in the Thespians’ 103rd season, which has included stage adaptations of the 1945 film Brief Encounter, Charles Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’, and the Ealing comedy film ‘The Titfield Thunderbolt.’

The Thespians return next season with four more high-quality plays presented at the Lawrence Batley Theatre and Longwood Mechanics Hall.

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