Friday, May 19, 2017

I missed the first 45 minutes of the National Theatre's live relay of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? last night. Cineworld blamed a technical fault but as the screen didn't leap into life for about 20 minutes after the advertised start time, we fear they just forgot to turn the projector on.

The remaining portion was worth the wait. I didn't like the set - lumbering and claustrophobic (though I'm sure this was intentional) and apparently, according to a strange sudden monologue in the second, brief interval, reminiscent of a boxing ring (it was approximately square), it did little to conjure up the dilapidated jumble of slightly impoverished academia that I feel should be their house. 

I also didn't like George. He seemed permanently on the brink of tears which is, I suppose, a legitimate interpretation of the role. But not mine. Richard Godden wins that showdown.
Caroline Hood stole Honey almost from the (45 minutes in) get go. Imogen Poots was very good but lacked the terrifying brittle-ness that Caroline gave her. 

The jury's out on the Nick. They were both pretty good.

But Imelda was the star. My reason for traipsing along to see this looooong play when it must only be one year since I last saw it. And although I love the words and the script and the evil, I'm not sure much else would have lured me back but a marvellous Martha.
My only objection was she was a little neat and petite. I feel Martha should be fleshier. Mel is / was a slim little thing too but somehow burst out of her dress far more lasciviously and efficiently than Imelda managed. But you can't do anything about that. She roared and purred and gyrated and bawled and was quite quite wonderful in her eulogy to their decaying relationship. 

As ever, Michael B says it better than I do. But on short, I'm glad I put myself out for the two hours and twenty of it that reached us. I dearly wish I'd seen it live. That would have been some experience.


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