New images are released today marking the first week of rehearsals for the new 13 week run of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The cast includes Imelda Staunton as Martha, Conleth Hill as George, Imogen Poots as Honey and Luke Treadaway as Nick. James Macdonald directs the first production of Albee’s landmark play since his death last September. The production runs at the Harold Pinter Theatre from 22nd February to 27th May 2017.Over 100 tickets for every performance will be priced at £15 (£10 during previews)
In the early hours of the morning on the campus of an American college, Martha, much to her husband George’s displeasure, has invited the new professor Nick and his wife Honey to their home for some after-party drinks. As the alcohol flows and dawn approaches, the young couple are drawn into George and Martha’s toxic games until the evening reaches its climax in a moment of devastating truth-telling.
Imelda Staunton (Martha) returns to the West End after her triumphant and Olivier Award-winning performance as Mama Rose in Gypsy. Amongst her many other theatre credits, notable performances include Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd, for which she won an Olivier Award, Circle, Mirror, Transformation for the Royal Court and the role of Claire in Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance at the Almeida Theatre. In total, Staunton has been nominated for eleven Olivier Awards, winning four. On film Staunton is perhaps best known for playing the title role in Vera Drake, for which she received the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and for the role of Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films.
Conleth Hill (George) is perhaps best known for his role as Lord Varys in the HBO television production Game of Thrones. A multi award-winning theatre actor, amongst his extensive theatre credits, recent productions include Quartermaine’s Terms at the Wyndham’s Theatre and The Cherry Orchard at the National Theatre. Hill won Olivier Awards for his performances in The Producers, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, and Stones In His Pockets in the West End. He also received Tony Award nominations for his role in Stones In His Pockets on its transfer to Broadway and The Seafarer, which transferred from the National Theatre to Broadway. Hill’s film credits include Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Whatever Works, directed by Woody Allen.
Imogen Poots (Honey) makes her West End debut with Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Poots made her breakthrough performance as Tammy in the film 28 Weeks Later. She won the British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Look of Love in 2013 and was nominated for Best Actress at the 2015 Evening Standard British Film Awards for her role in Peter Bogdanovich’s She’s Funny That Way. Other film credits include Terrence Mallick’s The Knight of Cups, Green Room, Filth, Jimi: All Is By My Side, A Late Quartet, Jane Eyre and Frank and Lola. On television, she recently played the female lead in Cameron Crowe’s debut television series Roadies (Showtime).
Luke Treadaway (Nick) won an Olivier Award for his performance as Christopher in the internationally acclaimed hit The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (National Theatre/ West End) and also originated the role of Albert in the earliest production of War Horse, again at the National. Further theatre credits include Over There (Royal Court), Piranha Heights (Soho Theatre) and Saint Joan (National Theatre). For film, Treadaway played the lead in the recent Sony Pictures release A Street Cat Named Bob, adapted from the New York Times bestselling novel. Treadaway’s further film credits include Unbroken, Attack the Block, The Whistleblower, Clash of the Titans, Tonight You’re Mine, Heartless, The Rise and Brothers of the Head. For television, this month he returns to his role of scientist Vincent Rattrey in the second series of Sky Atlantic’s critically acclaimed Fortitude. His further credits include the lead character of Alex Higgins in BBC’s The Rack Pack, the Duke of Richmond in the second series of The Hollow Crown (BBC/NBC/Neal Street Productions), as well as Sky Arts mini-series The Nightmare World of H.G. Wells with Michael Gambon.
James Macdonald is highly regarded for his work with Caryl Churchill and Sarah Kane, recently directing Churchill’s play Escaped Alone at the Royal Court. Most recently Macdonald directed The Children by Lucy Kirkwood, also at the Royal Court. Other recent work includes the award-winning production of Florian Zeller’s The Father and Roots at the Donmar Warehouse. Macdonald has previously directed Staunton in the Royal Court’s production of Circle, Mirror, Transformation by Annie Baker and in the critically-acclaimed production of Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance at the Almeida Theatre.
Edward Albee was born on 12th March 1928 and began writing plays 30 years later. His plays include The Zoo Story (1958), The Death of Bessie Smith (1959), The Sandbox (1959), The American Dream (1960), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1961-62, Tony Award), Tiny Alice (1964), A Delicate Balance (1966, Pulitzer Prize; 1996, Tony Award), All Over (1971), Seascape (1974, Pulitzer Prize), Listening (1975), Counting the Ways (1975), The Lady from Dubuque (1977-78), The Man Who Had Three Arms (1981), Finding the Sun (1982), Marriage Play (1986-87), Three Tall Women (1991, Pulitzer Prize), Fragments (1993), The Play about the Baby (1997), The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? (2000, 2002 Tony Award), Occupant (2001), At Home at the Zoo: Act 1, Homelife. Act 2, The Zoo Story. (2004), and Me, Myself & I (2008). Mr. Albee was awarded the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1980. In 1996 he received the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts. In 2005 he was awarded a special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement.