REVIEW: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

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Open Space continually challenge their audiences, but with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, they have decisively raised the bar.

Performed close to the audience, David Green’s claustrophobic staging only serves to enhance an atmosphere of unease and danger, as a couple goes to war in service to their impotent rage.

Yves Green is a familiar face on the Open Space stage, and can always be relied on for a solid performance, but in Martha she has found the part in which she can truly excel. Spiteful and vitriolic, yet tragic and poignant, she is the perfect foil for Peter Sowerbutts’s splenetic George.

Horribly convincing as Albee’s poisonous couple, the two of them prowl and snarl like unfettered wild animals. Complementing them is Emma Martin, doing a giggly, yet pathetic, drunk very well, while Mick Davison nicely underplays Nick, convincing as the embarrassed guest.

Gripping from beginning to end, this is not only Open Space’s finest production to date, it must rate as one of the best productions at the Corn Hall for a very long time.

DAVID VASS