Review Theatre

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf

Great actors, great script, great designers, great idea. Sounds like a sure-win recipe for success?

Usually that would be the case. However, it did not translate for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, one of the acts for Huayi 2012..

This play by Edward Albee is so poignant and, to be honest, so scary; much like what a friend says – a mind fuck. But it is a very difficult piece to translate to a Mandarin piece.. Though on one hand I commend Nelson for attempting this classic, on the other I feel it’s such a pity as each individual ingredient is awesome. The dish just wasn’t stunning.

The pace was slow and the building up to the climax was not forceful enough… The final revelation didn’t quite hit as hard as it should have. The intensity, the hatred and the helplessness of the characters did not cone out either.. My bench kept squeaking and moving, signs that people around me were feeling restless and impatient. The pauses that were supposed to be intense just further enhanced the slow pace.. I actually found myself staring at the lights and investigating the furniture.

I also find the absurdist part of the play did not come out as much as it should have. There is always a degree of absurdity in Edward Albee’s creations but this rendition became a bit too realistic, without any tinge of the absurd.

And I think my last complaint is that I don’t feel that the actors brought their A game to this performance. There were times where I cannot help but wonder if the actors are ‘having a moment’, or just spacing out…