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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

HOLLYWOOD actress Kathleen Turner returns to the West End stage early next year to star in the Broadway production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Anthony Page’s revival of Edward Albee’s 1962 classic will run at the Apollo Theatre for a strictly limited season – from January 31 to May 13, 2006 (previews from January 20).

George and Martha have been married 23 years. He teaches at a small New England college run by Martha’s father whom he’d hoped, one day, to succeed. But things haven’t turned out quite like George expected; in fact, in Martha’s words, he’s just “a bog” in the history department.

Then, one bitterly cold night, a good-looking biology professor and his young wife arrive for a nightcap. Soon however, they find themselves blood sport in what becomes a booze-drenched evening…..

Turner made her West End debut in Terry Johnson’s adaptation of The Graduate (pictured) in which she played seductress Mrs Robinson; a role immortalized on screen by the late Anne Bancroft. But Turner made her own headlines with a brief moment of nudity.

And she is, of course, well known for her many film appearances – in Romancing the Stone, The Jewel of the Nile, Body Heat, The War of the Roses and Peggy Sue Got Married.

Joining Turner in Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf? will be the other members of the Broadway production – Bill Irwin, who won this year’s Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play, as George; and David Harbour and Mireille Enos as the young couple, Nick and Honey.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was last seen as a major West End production in 1996 with Diana Rigg and David Suchet in starring roles.

When the current production opens, director Page will have two productions (both American classics) running side-by-side on Shaftesbury Avenue. The other, the revival of Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana, is currently playing at the Lyric.