Re-review: The Glass Menagerie / Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf

“Dashed hopes and good intentions. Good, better, best, bested”

“It’s an honour just to be nominated…” Come award season, these words are often heard but you do have to wonder what it feels like to be the only member of a four person ensemble that isn’t up for an Olivier Award. Such is the fate for Michael Esper in The Glass Menagerie just now, as Cherry Jones, Kate O’Flynn and Brian J Smith all find themselves deservedly up for acting prizes on Sunday while he’s had to put his game face on.

Truth be told, his is the light that shines the least brightly in John Tiffany’s production, if only because the nominated trio are so brilliant. Here’s my original review and on second viewing, the textures and timelessness of the work really shines through. In the same way, and surely likely to figure heavily in next year’s Olivier nominations – if not eventual winners – are the company of Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?.

I also went back to the Harold Pinter this week and it is remarkable how fresh and pacey the production still feels on a second viewing, whipping through its three hours with quite the lick and absolutely no diminishing of its immense emotional power. Read my review from first time around and get yourself over to see the show (again, if appropriate) for classic theatre doesn’t get much better than this.

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