Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Room of One's Own on Stage

Despite having already read the passage, I was drawn in by Eileen Atkins performance in this excerpt from Patrick Garland’s stage adaptation of A Room of One’s Own.
The excerpt is from the 1991 television broadcast on PBS Masterpiece Theatre. It tells the story of Judith Shakespeare from Chapter Three. Atkins, who starred in the one-woman show since its premiere in 1989, also played Woolf in Vita and Virginia, wrote the screenplay for the 1997 film adaptation for Mrs. Dalloway, and appeared in The Hours. This performance won her the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show.

Considering that A Room of One’s Own is an extended essay rather than a novel, I didn’t expect its philosophical arguments, every-day-life moments and brief, interjected stories to be transformed into a play or film. Perhaps because I am a visual learner who reads better than she listens, I suspect that I would struggle maintaining attention for the full-length show, no matter how expressive Atkins’ delivery may be. That being said, I was impressed with how well Woolf’s writing translates into a full, engaging performance and loved being able to gather a greater sense of Woolf through Atkins’ impersonation during this tidbit.

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