Who needs expensive marriage guidance counselling?

Sheffield University Drama Studios
Sheffield University Drama Studios
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Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Uni Drama Studio

Who needs to pay for expensive marriage counselling when you can invite another couple round for drinks and sort your problems for the price of a bottle of bourbon.

From the moment Martha utters “Screw you. Hi. Come in.” In one breath to husband George and unsuspecting guests, Nick and Honey respectively, it’s clear all is not well.

It’s both riveting and uncomfortable watching almost all the way through the play. Matilda Reith as Martha is unrelenting in belittling her husband George, played by Aidan Kidder. Although he appears to accept her lambasting of his abilities to make progress in his academic life, he is quietly scheming to humiliate her by playing psychological games.

Kidder has a strong physical stage presence but his American drawl is frequently unintelligible. A simpler, softer accent would have benefited the storytelling.

Reith puts in a fine performance, convincing whether in dominant or submissive mode towards Kidder or during a drunken soliloquy.

Astonishingly Nick and Honey stay with their hosts despite their vicious verbal exchanges and become entangled with their problems as well as revealing their own.

Will Taylor as Nick shows good range, able to be brash and arrogant at the start and appearing humiliated later after a failed sexual encounter.

Polly Sculpher has little to work with as Honey but performs the role well, giggling, dancing and entering intoxicated confusion.

Director Isaac Whiting orchestrates the mayhem effectively with his young quartet of SuTCo actors.