"Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?" by Edward Albee / ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTRE
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"Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?" by Edward Albee

Directed by Maria Panourgia

12-23 DEC 2018
21:00

 
Upper Stage
Two couples and their relationships hit rock bottom. A long, wild, brutal night. Marriage is no longer sacred. A legendary play, forever associated with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton thanks to the film of the same name, is to be staged at the OCC as a “living museum” of behaviours from decades past.
Two couples stay up late drinking copious quantities of alcohol. The night will prove fateful. George, a university professor, and his larger-than-life wife Martha will destroy one another verbally and psychologically before the fearful eyes of their younger guests, Nick and Honey. Because, quite simply, nothing is heaven-sent. 

Marriage isn’t sacred, humans aren’t necessarily humanists, and the family is a jungle. Which is how Maria Panourgia directs this classic American work—free of illusions. She gives us a ‘stuffed’ bourgeois sitting room full of relics of the past, and leaves the radio on to broadcast shows about the savage jungles of Africa. 

She’s interested in the morbidity of married life, but also in the era in which “Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?” plays out—an era it encapsulates like a time capsule. And as the murder of a child slowly comes to the surface, Maria Panourgia invites us to view the work with which Albee rocked Sixties’ audiences as a “living museum” of behaviours past. 

credits

Director: Maria Panourgia
Dramaturg: Tassos Koukoutas
Set Designer: Poulcheria Tzova
Costume Designer: Ioanna Tsami
Lighting Design: Eliza Alexandropoulou
Movement: Zoe Hadjiantoniou
Music and Sound: Blaine L. Reininger
Assistant Director: Rania Kapetanaki 
Cast: Konstantinos Avarikiotis (George), Evi Saoulidou (Martha), Yannis Papadopoulos (Nick), Stella Vogiatzaki (Honey)
Line Production: Eleni Kotisifidou/ Blackbird production

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"Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf? premiered" in 1962 in New York, where it caused a stir, winning Tony and Drama Critics Circle awards.
 
In 1966, it was adapted for the cinema by Mike Nickols with a pair of leads legendary both for their performances and their own marital squabbles: Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. The film won two Oscars.
 
The work’s title is a play on the song "Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?", which was heard for the first time in Walt Disney’s animated "Three Little Pigs" in 1933. Edward Albee replaced “wolf” with the name of the English writer and suicide Virginia Woolf, asking us to ponder “Who isn’t afraid of a life without illusions?".
 
The radio serves as a fifth voice in Maria Panourgia’s production: from it, we will hear extracts from "Moon over Africa" (1937–8), an American radio program broadcasting stories from the deepest, darkest Africa. Combined with news and announcements, these become the production’s “libretto”.

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