Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf – director’s interview

Arts editor Hatty Farnham interviews Grace Church, director of Minotaur Theatre Company‘s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Hatty Farnham: Who decided to put on Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and why?

Grace Church: I decided to put on WAOVW as I really admire [Edward] Albee as a playwright. I have always been drawn to his writing due to the way in which he masterfully combines dark subjects with sharp humour and elements of the absurd.

WAOVW is one of the plays he is most famous for which I personally think is testimony to the four incredible characters he presents in the play who all seem so real in their vices, flaws and emotions. I couldn’t wait to start auditioning to cast the perfect actors for these roles!

HF: Is it difficult to direct friends and fellow students?

GC: Directing friends has been surprisingly easy. The four actors are from different years of the drama course and have all been wonderfully attentive and open to my direction which has made the whole process such a pleasure.

HF: What part of directing do you find most challenging?

GC: Trying to use the limited rehearsal time effectively (we only had two weeks of rehearsal) and to not be tempted to fritter away the hours with chit chat.

HF: As a director, how much say do you have over lighting, music and costume?

GC: I have had lot of say in the lighting and costume but I have also had a good deal of help from my co-director Lucy Mangan and my amazing stage manager Kate Marks who this show could not have happened without.

HF: If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?

GC: If I could do it again I would probably have planned my rehearsals in advance as I kind of played it by ear this time, taking each day as it came which has been fun and spontaneous but also quite nerve-wracking.

HF: One word to describe your emotions leading up to the performances?

GC: I’m feeling nervous for my amazing cast, relieved that I’m not the one performing but secure in the faith that they will all be absolutely great. I just can’t wait to see how it goes and I hope all our hard work pays off!

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf is showing at the UEA Studio from Thursday 17 to Saturday 19 January 2013. All performances are sold out according to


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harrietfarnham Harriet is the editor of Arts. Email her at

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