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Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning May 12, 2020

Who’s Afraid? A Living Zoom Drama!

A living Zoom drama

While the rest of the country can gather in groups of 10, Gladys has decided to keep us indoors a little longer! The last few months have driven many of us inside, with performers and creatives wondering how they can turn this lockdown into an opportunity. For Mandy Nolan, this provided an opportunity to present one of her favourite pieces. ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is one of my absolute favourite pieces of writing’ she says. ‘It’s complex, turgid, it is disturbing, it’s broken. It’s about love, and what we do to each other, and ourselves. Most people know the movie with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor – which was extraordinary, but the 1962 Edward Albee play, I believe, is even better when you hear the full play – a lot of it was missing from that screenplay.’
Mandy decided to direct a Zoom reading of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with the two central characters of Martha and George coming to her immediately. ‘You can’t do this without having someone who is exactly perfect as Martha AND George.’ So Mandy asked Linda Rutledge to read Martha, and Mark Swivel to read George. ‘I have seen Linda in plays over the years, and always thought she was a remarkably powerful actor. Pre COVID-19 I had the thought of what a perfect Martha she’d make. I thought at the time that my friend Mark Swivel would be a great George’. As it turns out, Linda and Mark both loved the play as much as Mandy, with Linda admitting that it was one of her performing goals to play Martha! Mark introduced Mandy to Mick Webb and Madeleine Lipson, who are the perfect Nick and Honey. ‘I can’t believe how good they all are’ says Mandy. ‘This is a very long and complex play. And this is a complex time. We haven’t been able to gather – we have only been able to have a few reading rehearsals on Zoom, with everyone at their respective houses. But it seems ideal, at a time when we are all driven indoors with our nearest and dearest, that perhaps a play about how it can all come undone is perfect!’
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? runs an astonishing four hours! That being the case, Mandy decided to present the rehearsed reading over three nights: an act each night. ‘Why not? There must be nothing left to watch on Netflix! This is a great opportunity to reacquaint yourself with a classic.’
The rehearsed reading via Zoom is free, and will be held on Friday 22 May, Saturday 23 May and Sunday 24 May – all at 7.30pm. If you would like to Zoom in on this epic lockdown cultural soirée, then pour yourself a whisky, and settle in.

Email [email protected] for your nightly link with the subject header ‘Woolf link’.


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