An epic argument, 60 years on - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? comes to the Adelaide stage with a star Australian cast

Published by: State Theatre Company South Australia | 20-Sep-2021
Almost 60 years after its debut, Edward Albee’s masterwork Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? will be reinterrogated through a dynamic new Australian lens this month.
Venue: Dunstan Playhouse
Address: Adelaide Festival Centre
Date: 24 Sep - 9 Oct
Directed by Margaret Harvey (Black Medea, Heart is a Wasteland, RAN: Remote Area Nurse), the production will have its first preview on Friday (Sep 24) at the Dunstan Playhouse and run for a strictly limited two-week season.

Taking on the pivotal roles of George and Martha, famously played by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in the 1966 film, will be acclaimed actors Jimi Bani (ABC’S Mabo) and Susan Prior (Aftertaste, Puberty Blues). Rashidi Edward returns following a stellar performance in Hibernation to play the role of Nick, alongside newcomer Juanita Navas-Nguyen as Honey in her State Theatre Company South Australia debut.

Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? examines the complex marriage of a middle-aged academic couple, Martha and George. Late one evening, after a university faculty party, they entertain an unwitting younger couple and draw them into an epic argument that rages into the early hours of the morning.

A stellar creative team including Set and Costume Designer Ailsa Paterson (The 39 Steps, Gaslight), Tony Award-winning Lighting Designer Nigel Levings (Hydra, The King and I) and resident sound designer Andrew Howard will bring Albee’s American classic to dazzling new life.

Harvey, who is of Sabai Island blood in the Torres Strait, says she is using ‘colour-conscious casting’ to reframe Albee’s original script and explore race-power relations in Australia today.

“Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a scalding vitriolic commentary of the state of America in the early 1960’s,” she says. “As a First Nations woman of Torres Strait Islander blood, I cannot ignore the lens through which I view this work. By performing this story here on Australian soil, what comes to fruition is the state of a nation - there is an alignment with the socio-politics that has permeated this nation state.”

State Theatre Company South Australia Artistic Director Mitchell Butel says audiences are in for a thrilling and surprising ride.

“Margaret Harvey is one of this country’s greatest and most prolific theatre-makers who puts a fresh and unique spin on everything she touches. I’m so excited by her vision for this production.”

Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is licensed by Music Theatre International (Australasia) on behalf of Dramatists Play Service Inc.

Dunstan Playhouse, 24 Sep - 9 Oct. Tickets at

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