05 May 2011 - 02 Jul 2011

A Delicate Balance

By Edward Albee

Directed By James Macdonald

production information

“Are you home forever, back from the world? To the sadness and reassurance of your parents?”

Urban socialites Agnes and Tobias appear to inhabit a glamorous world of drinks parties and social clubs. The return home of their recently divorced daughter, the constant presence of Agnes’ alcoholic sister and the impromptu late-night arrival of some close friends, begin to peel away this veneer.

As their lives become increasingly claustrophobic, the characters battle with their fear of stepping into the real world, opting instead for the undemanding familiarity of their own drawing room.

Laced with acerbic wit, A Delicate Balance won Edward Albee his first Pulitzer Prize and followed the success of his breakthrough work Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? One of the great American plays of the 20th Century, this is the fourth of Albee’s dramas at the Almeida after Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1996), The Play About the Baby (1998) and The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (2004).

James Macdonald was last at the Almeida in 2009, directing our acclaimed production of Judgment Day. He was associate director at the Royal Court for 14 years and his other credits include Dido, Queen of Carthage (National Theatre) and Glengarry Glen Ross (Apollo Theatre).

Dates & Tickets

icket Prices: £8 - £32

Evening Performances 7.30pm
Wednesday Matinee 2.30pm on 8 & 22 June
Saturday Matinees 3pm from 14 May

Please note this production contains smoking.

TalkBack
Tuesday 14 June
(with speech-to-text transcription)
Stay in the auditorium after the performance to have your question answered by members of the A Delicate Balance company.
Free to same day ticket holders.


ACCESS PERFORMANCES

Captioned
Tuesday 14 June, 7.30pm (Followed by Talkback with live speech-to-text transcription)
Saturday 25 June, 3pm
 
Audio Described
Saturday 18 June, 3pm
(touch tour at 1.30pm)

A Delicate Balance Production Photos

A Delicate Balance Production Photos

A Delicate Balance Production Photos

A Delicate Balance Production Photos

Lucy has recently received great critical acclaim for her performance as Sylvia Gellburg in Arthur Miller’s Broken Glass at the Tricycle Theatre; other recent theatre appearances include An Enemy of the People (Sheffield Theatre) and Speaking in Tongues (Duke of York’s). Her film credits include Becoming Jane and Gosford Park.

Theatre includes: School For Scandal (English Touring Theatre); Macbeth; Way of the World (Birmingham Rep); Blood Wedding (The Tricycle).

Television includes: Camelot; Silent Witness; Torchwood.

A Delicate Balance Rehearsal Photos

A Delicate Balance Rehearsal Photos

A Delicate Balance Rehearsal Photos

A Delicate Balance Rehearsal Photos

A Delicate Balance Rehearsal Photos

A Delicate Balance Rehearsal Photos

A Delicate Balance Rehearsal Photos

A Delicate Balance Rehearsal Photos

A Delicate Balance Rehearsal Photos

A Delicate Balance Rehearsal Photos

A Delicate Balance Rehearsal Photos

A Delicate Balance Rehearsal Photos

  “James Macdonald’s cast are the very best... Imelda Staunton, as Claire, gives the unmissable, hilarious performance of her life... Funny, brilliant, troubling.”

The Times

Reviews

  “James Macdonald’s cast are the very best... Imelda Staunton, as Claire, gives the unmissable, hilarious performance of her life... Funny, brilliant, troubling.”

The Mail On Sunday

Reviews

"Ferociously good acting...this uncomfortable and unsettling play is both gripping and hauntingly powerful"

Sunday Express

Reviews

 "All the actors are brilliant...Albee's play remains as unsettling as ever"

The Sunday Times

Reviews

  “James Macdonald’s beautifully pitched production…mordantly funny, handled with fearless honesty by a superb cast”

Financial Times

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Reviews

"James Macdonald's enormously intelligent production... its delicacy is beyond doubt."

Time Out

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Reviews

“James Macdonald’s superb ensemble production”

The Indepedent

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Reviews

“James Macdonald’s near-flawless production…Tim Pigott-Smith has done nothing finer than his Tobias.”

The Guardian

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Reviews

“This beautifully judged revival of Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize-winning play shows A Delicate Balance to be a modern classic.”

The Daily Telegraph

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Reviews

  "An intoxicating drama with a top cast."

The Daily Mail

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Reviews

  "Penelope Wilton is magnificent as the Sergeant-like Agnes…the star of the evening is the ever excellent Imelda Staunton.”

Daily Express

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Reviews

"James Macdonald's classy revival unpacks the density of Albee's writing…the dialogue drips with acid and is often viciously funny."

Evening Standard

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Reviews

“Wilton plays with infinite, suffocating patience and a velvety voice that turns Albee’s ornately compiled sentences into smiling boa constrictors… Director James Macdonald orchestrates the play with a chill sensitivity to its musical properties”

whatsonstage.com

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Reviews

"James Macdonald's unerring revival has a top- notch cast... it is the greatest of treats to see Imelda Staunton and Penelope Wilton as its unbalanced and often indelicate sisters"

The Observer

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Reviews

"Macdonald's ear for structure and phrasing makes him as much an expert conductor as a director...This revival reveals, once and for all, that although The Goat has a more dramatic metaphor and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? has more blood 'n' guts theatricality, A Delicate Balance is Albee's mature masterpiece."

Variety

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Reviews

"Tim Pigott-Smith is superb…hypnotic and rather chilling"

The Stage

Reviews

"James Macdonald’s production gets the delicate balance just right."

officiallondonttheatre.com

Reviews

Additional information

Running time is approximately 2 hrs 55 mins including two intervals.

Cast & Creatives

Lucy Cohu
Diana Hardcastle
Ian McElhinney
Tim Pigott-Smith
Imelda Staunton
Penelope Wilton

Direction James Macdonald
Design Laura Hopkins
Lighting Guy Hoare
Sound Ian Dickinson   
Casting Toby Whale   
Dialect Penny Dyer

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