Wednesday, 16 October 2019
AMATEUR THEATRE REVIEW: Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf - The Green Room, Wilmslow.
Collectively agreed by those in attendance, a stunning piece of amateur theatre.
This was my first time reviewing at The Green Room Theatre and I was definitely in luck to be there for this performance. On leaving the theatre I overheard several of the loyal patrons exclaiming 'this has been best production I've seen at this theatre', to add to these sentiments this was also the best piece of amateur theatre I too have ever seen.
Edward Albee's 'Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?' takes place in real time, set in a living room after an academic social. We the audience have an uncomfortable voyeuristic viewing of George (John Keen) and Martha's (Lise Nivern Banks) perverted power games with each other and their young guests Nick (Karl Greenwood) and Honey (Morgan Wild).
The ability of the actors in this production was comparable with professional productions I have seen of this play at the Royal Exchange and in the classic 1966 film directed by Mike Nichols. One of the elements I enjoyed the most was the voice quality of the actors. It is my opinion that one of the most important tools of an actor is their ability to communicate verbally, all four of the actors had clear resonating voices and believable accents that stayed throughout the play. As a younger member of the audience, sat on the back row I had no trouble with ability to hear the actors, some older members near to me complained about not hearing all the action. This is a problem for several amateur theatres I've visited recently and I hope modern technology makes hearing loop systems easier for theatres to utilise ensuring same level of enjoyment for all patrons.
Keen and Banks made for a very believable volatile couple, their tremendous eruptions of anger followed by their magnetism to one another was a tense roller-coaster to watch. A stoic George was complimented by a physical and vivacious Martha. Greenwood and Wild also gave meticulous performances, Greenwood has a strong ability to be affected by others, from a playful wiggle of his eyebrows he switches to indignation when he realises he's being 'played with' by his hosts.
Perhaps most notable was Wild's likeable vulnerability as Honey, not academic or sharp witted Honey becomes the victim of George's vicious bullying game, Wild's physical reaction - wide eyed and open mouthed gave the real sense of Honey's innocence and hurt, Wild also possesses great ability in acting drunk, most actors' worst nightmare.
The set was beautifully detailed and well put together, it had the look of an authentic scholar's living space. A mess of paraphernalia well placed by an amazing props and design team. Music before and during the intervals was appropriate to the time period and mood of the play and greatly added to the enjoyment. Director Mark Jephcott has done an amazing job bringing so many talented people together and getting the best out of each of them.
Even though the production had an incredibly late finishing time the audience left without a negative word to be heard, they were too busy praising this epic piece. The Green Room is lucky to have such a dedicated and talented team to have brought this production to life with such wonderful attention to detail, a massive congratulations to them all on this smash-hit of a production.
Reviewer - Kerry Ely
on - 15/10/19