October 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of 3 very popular and famous characters – two on stage and one on screen.
George and Martha one of theatres most contentious married couples exploded on stage October 13, 1962 in Edward Albee’s masterpiece Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf. A week earlier on October 5th the film premiere of Dr No and adaptation of an Ian Fleming novel introduced us to super spy James Bond.
A half a century later they are still going strong with the release of the latest Bond film Skyfall (number 23 in the franchise), and the opening of a new production of Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf on Broadway.
Sean Connery played James Bond first back then and he is arguably the best. Recently the mantle was taken over by actor Daniel Craig and some would say he may be ever better, he returns in Skyfall and the film itself has received very positive reviews from Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. It has a serious director at the helm in Sam Mendes and with cinematography by the great Roger Deakins and production design by Dennis Gassner it is sure to be the best looking Bond film ever. Also quite exciting is that the latest Bond villian is played by Javier Bardem sure to be a highlight amongst many. It opens in Australia in early November.
The latest Broadway incarnation of Albee’s classic play comes by way of an acclaimed production by Chicago’s acclaimed Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Playing the dysfunctional couple this time are actor/playwright Tracey Letts as George and Amy Morton as Martha. Morton played a leading role in Lett’s Tony winning hit play August: Osage County a few seasons back. It opened at the Booth theatre on October 13 exactly 50 years after the first premiere. Of course there was cinemas famous George and Martha played to perfection by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in a 1966 film adaptation directed by Mike Nichols, who can ever forget them! Legendary acting teacher Uta Hagen and Arthur Hill originated the roles.
From L-R Hagen & Hill, Taylor & Burton, Morton & Letts
It was a real treat on a cold ‘n’windy Sunday afternoon to attend a talk by acclaimed American playwrite – Edward Albee.
He of “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf” fame, not to mention quite a few others. He has won 3 Pulitzer prizes for drama amongst other accolades.
He was a guest of the Melbourne Theatre Company to give their 2010 John Sumner Lecture.
The Octogenarian was at times – naughty, pompous, funny, egotistical, profound, enlightening and delightful.
His musings on the collaboration of all art forms was wonderful, and his tale of the Hollywood producer claiming screenplay rights to the film adaptation of his play “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf”, was a highlight.
Even down under we get to see the greats 🙂 on occasion.
Image via Wikipedia
I am a big fan of American writer Edward Albee and he is coming to Melboune to blab. I just got some tickets today.
Here are the details, so book now if you don’t want to miss out. And it’s free!
THE 2010 JOHN SUMNER LECTURE
EDWARD ALBEE IN CONVERSATION
Join us at the MTC Theatre to hear Edward Albee, three-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and author ofWho’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Three Tall Women, and The Goat or Who is Sylvia? discuss his half century of writing for the stage.
In an interview with Radio National’s Amanda Smith, Albee will talk about his ongoing work encouraging and mentoring new writers and what might lie ahead for dramatists and theatres in the coming decades.
Since 2003, the John Sumner Lecture, named after MTC’s founding and longest-serving Artistic Director, has been delivered by an eminent person or arts practitioner on the subject of theatre and its role in cultural life. Don’t miss hearing one of the great figures in post-war American drama in conversation.
The MTC Theatre, Sumner
Sunday 17 October, 3pm
Bookings essential: 8688 0800
Presented by MTC in conjunction with Inscription and the Australian Centre at the University of Melbourne