Truth and illusion, trauma and power. For almost 50 years on stages and most famously on celluloid in 1966 with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in the starring roles, US playwright Edward Albee’s monstrous, middle-aged couple George and Martha have waged psychological and physical warfare with one another about the aspirations they have failed to fulfil, across one liquor-logged night in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.

Margaret Harvey Jimi Bani

Wits and make-believe narratives have been weaponised as the men strut their unquestioned privilege and the women are objectified: middle-aged history professor George and his “braying” wife Martha draw breath from their well-rehearsed mutual torture session long enough to form an alliance against their unsuspecting house guests, handsome and well-built biology professor Nick and his “slim-hipped” wife Honey.

But what if all these mind games were transplanted from George and Martha’s home on a 1960s US college campus to a setting in 2021, cast with four actors all using their Australian accents? What if George were played by Thursday Island-born actor Jimi...