Edward Albee is a criminally underrated playwright of an era which produced similarly brilliant artists like Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and Eugene O'Neill. Albee is right up there with the greatest of the greats, with this, his most famous play.
'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' is shocking, disturbing, and profoundly thought-provoking. The amalgamation of imported European absurdism and harsh, biting realism is skilfully managed to produce a piece of drama so equally sad, haunting and hilarious. There are some brilliant lines to come out of this text - Albee makes you laugh out loud at the weird and wonderful world of George and Martha (named for the Washingtons) as he paints his portrait of a warped marriage, so at odds with the American Dream.
The play centres around two couples: George and Martha - who express their love for one another through dysfunctional bickering, cutting insults and vitriolic disgust - and Nick and Honey, the guests of the older couple's bizarre performance. The hosts proceed to enact a metatheatrical performance within a performance, but with shattering results for all parties. The characters are full of life, full of laughter, tears, bitter disappointment, love, hate - they are, for all the absurdism, frighteningly real.
I would definitely recommend this play to anyone looking for a disturbing, upsetting, hilarious and deeply insightful performance, and a masterclass in the best of post-war American drama. Truly a wonderful work which should survive for generations to come.