Review Round Up: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Harold Pinter Theatre

Imelda Staunton stars in this revival of Edward Albee’s play. But what have critics been saying about it? 


The Stage: ***** “The play can sometimes be overplayed as a ripe melodramatic psychodrama, but not here: it all feels too plausibly, unbearably real. As a result, it is utterly heartbreaking.”

The Guardian: ***** “for all the play’s political overtones, it only works if it is rooted in psychological realism, which is where Macdonald’s production scores heavily.”

Evening Standard: ***** “James Macdonald’s precise and finely balanced production ensures that this modern classic still feels lethal.”

Time Out: **** “Many aspects of this production feel pretty trad – Tom Pye’s set, for starters – but none of that stifles this revival’s horrible, vertiginous sense of fast-moving tragedy, of crashing descent.”

The FT: ***** “Painfully, headache-inducingly good.”

WhatsOnStage: *** “I have rarely heard an actress better capture Martha’s awful bray or watched one more truly embody her pugnacious refusal to stop slugging. But at her best Staunton is also capable of capturing infinite sadness with just a clench of her jaw or a movement of her hand.”

The Independent: ***** “Imelda Staunton is all of five feet but her performance as Martha – one of the greatest feats of acting I have witnessed.”

The Telegraph: ***** “A flawless production? Albee sworn to it.”

West End Whingers: “Staunton, initially doesn’t seem blowsily brassy enough yet progresses to become more hilarious, wretched and pitiable by turn. Hill is brilliant, more than a match, even his height and frame against Stauton’s diminutive stature adds to the incongruity of their relationship.”

Express: **** “while Staunton is terrific, hers is a deeply unsympathetic, brittle performance.”

The Upcoming: ***** “James Macdonald has presided over something truly draining; it’s likely that the audience will leave with the beginnings of a hangover”

There Ought to be Clowns: “Macdonald ensures you never spend a moment watching the clock, like a slow-motion car crash, you can’t drag your eyes away for a moment from the majesty and tragedy of this play.”

Jonathan Baz Reviews: ***** “James Macdonald delivers a perfectly weighted take on a 20th century classic.”

Exeunt Magazine: “I’m not particularly afraid of Virginia Woolf, but I sure am scared of Conleth Hill, and Imelda Staunton terrifies the pants off me. They are both chillingly superb in James MacDonald’s harrowing new production”

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf will play at the Harold Pinter Theatre  until the 27th May 2017. To book tickets visit: ATG Tickets,, Theatre Tickets, Love, Theatre and UK





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