“This is one of those rare occasions when play, performance and production perfectly coalesce,” wrote Michael Billington in his five-star Guardian review of Edward Albee’s landmark 1962 marital-crisis drama, WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? at London’s Harold Pinter Theatre. The latest West End revival, directed by James Macdonald, stars Imelda Staunton, Conleth Hill, Luke Treadaway and Imogen Poots. All four along with the production received rave reviews from every major critic after it’s opening this week. Billington summed them up. “Imelda Staunton brilliantly embodies Edward Albee’s campus Medusa in the shape of Martha. Conleth Hill matches her every inch of the way as her seemingly ineffectual husband George.
This is, however a team show and the young couple are excellently portrayed. Luke Treadaway as Nick combines the golden arrogance of youth with the smug disdain of the scientist for a battered old humanist like George. Imogen Poots in her West End debut, strikingly shows the child-like Honey, switching between awed delight in the older couple’s outrageousness and a growing awareness that she herself is a victim of Nick’s contempt.” The four cast members signed my drawing as they arrived for the Saturday matinee last weekend.
Sian Thomas has done it all. Her screen credits include HARRY POTTER and MERLIN and on stage she has covered the full gambit of parts including Martha in Edward Albee’s WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? and Lady Macbeth in ‘the Scottish Play’. In 2002 she appeared with Madonna who was making her West End debut in UP FOR GRABS at Wyndham’s Theatre. Michael Billington wrote in his Guardian review, “Sian Thomas, who can get a laugh simply through the flick of an eyelid is superb as a Courtauld-trained consultant longing to get her revenge on the corporate world.”
In the Royal Shakespeare’s 2004, production of MACBETH at Stratford-upon-Avon, Billington wrote, ” Sian Thomas was born to play Lady Macbeth, the right mixture of attack, sexiness and emotional drive.”
I drew this sketch of Sian as Lady Macbeth and Martha and meet her at the Donmar Warehouse on Saturday after the matinee performance of WELCOME HOME, CAPTAIN FOX where she signed it for me.
Kathleen Turner is the voice of the animated bunny Jessica Rabbit – Roger’s voluptuous wife. She is best remembered for the classic line “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way,” in 1988. In 2005 she played the role of Martha (I’m not bad, I just act that way) in the Broadway revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Bill Irwin played George, opposite her. Both were nominated for a Tony Award, with Bill winning the coveted prize. The production transferred to London’s Apollo Theatre the following year. Kathleen was certainly a big drawcard with sell out performances. I sent this sketch to the theatre. It was returned, signed by both, with a nice note from Bill thanking me. So I guess, I’m not bad… I just draw that way!