Identity and history, the stops and starts of progress, and what happens if you survive for 500 years come under the microscope in Sarah Ruhl’s playful stage version of Virginia Woolf’s fantastical 1928 novel with a time-travelling, gender-swapping central character. You might think it would be a novel which would be impossible to stage, but Ruhl’s version has been widely liked (it premiered in this country at the Royal Exchange in Manchester in 2014 to great reviews) and it will be delicious to see how director Stella Powell-Jones manages to stage sea voyages, the court of Elizabeth the 1st and ice-skating on the frozen Thames on the tiny Jermyn Street stage.
Growing up as an Elizabethan pageboy and skating on the frozen Thames, Orlando never imagines he’ll travel to Turkey. Or get married in the reign of Queen Victoria. Or live long enough to answer the telephone. He definitely isn’t expecting to wake up as a woman one day. But if you stick around for five centuries, life is bound to get interesting… Virginia Woolf’s 1920s masterpiece was written in tribute to her lover, Vita Sackville West. This dazzling stage adaptation is by Sarah Ruhl, two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee and Tony Award nominee. Stella Powell-Jones, recently Deputy Director at Jermyn Street Theatre, directs this time-travelling romp.