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Who is Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Ulysses Theatre & Belgrade Drama Theatre
Who is Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Directore: LENKA UDOVIČKI
Dramaturge: ŽELJKA UDOVIČIĆ PLEŠTINA
Costume designer: BJANKA ADŽIĆ URSULOV
Set designer: STEFANO KATUNAR
Composors: NIGEL OSBORNE, DAVOR ROCCO
Choreographer: MATIJA FERLIN
Light designer: ANDREJ HAJDINJAK
Sound designer: DAVOR ROCCO
Assistant directore: RAJNA RACZ
Assistant set designer: PAOLA LUGARIĆ
Rade Šerbedžija – George
Katarina Bistrović-Darvaš – Martha
Milan Marić/ Martin Grđan – Nick
Romina Tonković/Nika Ivančić – Honey
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, a piece that has been winning over both theatre and film audiences for half a century, reflects itself in the humorous elements of black, dark, wild comedy, alongside elements of melodrama, tragedy, slapstick and even satire, by theatrically inviting us to question social conventions in an original and powerful way that places this play among the anthological achievements of world literature.
The passion encompassed both in and between the lines of the painful but witty dialogue of Virginia Woolf’s protagonists, inherent in works that overcome cultural differences, captivates with equal freshness the audience’s emotions in order to play them above them.
Their cruel and wild marital struggle, we witness it from the tradition of Strindberg and later of O’Neill, while keeping in mind the theater of the absurd.
Namely, Martha and George, a middle-aged couple, after finishing with some college entertainment in the small hours, host a young couple, Nick and Honey. That night, the false idols of a scholarly lowly life in the provincial university are uncovered. Choosing an unconventional time for conventional socialising opens a dramatic environment for a series of scenes that allow us to look behind the scenes of a socially accepted code of conduct.
During this night in which the barriers of social rules break down, under the guise of excessive drinking, those who guarantee the so-called success of malignant safety, ruthlessly question the inverse of this culture and civilization. As for ourselves, it’s easier for these characters to exist under the disguise of normal life rather than taking off their masks and risking the irreversible loss of their own support in their much-needed illusions concerning life. And that night, probably following morning, the masks fall off. But honesty does not bring catharsis, on the contrary, it opens the stage for pain and suffering. All of it can be summarised in one sentence by the author, “Who is afraid of Virginia Woolf?” meaning “Who is afraid of the big bad wolf?” meaning “Who is afraid of life without illusions?”
The modern of this play is also reflected in the fact that it quite fearlessly and very unequivocally announces a penetrating, aggressive, prone to everything “new” generation that promotes the idea that success is measurable exclusively by the criteria that liberal capitalism brings alongside it. Nevertheless, Virginia Woolf provides us with the possibility of an individual escape from social conventions, suggesting that we can still strive for the freedom of choice; for the right to be confused and silent within a civilization that insists on the communication of noise; It encourages us to ask questions in a world that raises such issues; the right to romanticism and melodrama in a world that is embarrassed by emotions.
Željka UDOVIČIĆ PLEŠTINA