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Posts Tagged ‘Between the Acts’

From the BBC Radio Drama Collection come adaptations of seven of Virginia Woolf’s pioneering modernist novels, available on CD and as a digital download.

Out since last April, each is a full-cast dramatization by such notable actors as Vanessa Redgrave and Kristin Scott-Thomas. Each includes sound effects — background chatter and the pouring of tea in Night and Day; horses’ hoofs pounding the road and trumpets sounding in Orlando; the gramophone playing, the cows mooing, and the audience clapping in Between the Acts.

The original radio broadcasts took place between October 1980 and May 2012.

The audio versions of Woolf’s novels are available in the UK and the U.S. The cost of the 14-disk CD set in the U.S. is around $30. Playing time is 11 hours and 55 minutes.

Novels included

  • The Voyage Out (1915)
  • Night and Day (1919)
  • Mrs. Dalloway (1925)
  • To the Lighthouse (1927)
  • Orlando (1928)
  • The Waves (1931)
  • Between the Acts (1941)

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Between the Acts stage adaptationVirginia Woolf’s final novel Between the Acts (1941) has been adapted for the stage by John Schmor, associate professor of theater arts at the University of Oregon.

Schmor, who said that he didn’t choose the play, the play chose him, described the staging as “spare” so that Woolf’s “wonderful way with words” is highlighted.

Remaining performances are today and July 31 through Aug. 2 at 8 p.m. at Hope Theatre in the UO’s Miller Theatre Complex on East 11th Avenue near Kincaid Street.

Tickets are $5 general admission, at the door. For information, call 541-346-1791.

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John Lehman

Information about John Lehmann and other Bloomsbury Group figures has been newly posted to the Mantex site.

Roy Johnson of Mantex Information Design wrote Blogging Woolf to say he has added half a dozen new resources connected to Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group to the site. Here they are, with links:

Find more Bloomsbury Group materials, as well as biographical notes, study guides and literary criticism on twentieth century authors, including Woolf and other Bloomsbury Group members.

Visit the Virginia Woolf at Mantex page. Woolf study guides on the site include:Between the Acts

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booksDid Virginia Woolf like science fiction? Did science fiction influence her novels? Those questions never occurred to me until I read a Web site post titled “The Science Fiction Writer Who Received Fan Mail from Virginia Woolf.”

The piece reports on an article by Kim Stanley Robinson in New Scientist that discusses Woolf’s correspondence with the influential science fiction writer Olaf Stapledon.

In it, Robinson says Woolf did more than just read science fiction. She also allowed it to influence her writing. Robinson cites Orlando and the “Time Passes” section of To the Lighthouse as evidence for her claim.

She also cites correspondence from Woolf to Stapledon found in his papers at the University of Liverpool and not included in her Collected Letters. In her letters, Woolf praises Stapledon’s work, particularly the novel Star Maker, which he sent Woolf.

Of Star Maker, Woolf wrote: “sometimes it seems to me that you are grasping ideas that I have tried to express, much more fumblingly, in fiction.”

Robinson says Stapledon’s 1937 novel influenced Woolf’s Between the Acts. She describes the novel as ending “with Stapledonian imagery,” and writes that its final pages are “a kind of science fiction.”

After reading Patrick A. McCarthy’s introduction to Star Maker on Google Books, I am intrigued enough to read some Stapledon on my own.

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I went alone to the world premier of “Unpublished Dialogues.” Perhaps that was most fitting.

Virginia Woolf was, after all, alone when she died. And “Unpublished Dialogues” was based on the last day of her life.

The theater-dance piece premiered last month in a dark and cavernous old ice house that seemed a fitting space for conducting an artistic exploration of Woolf’s mind on the day of her death.

The building sits on a tipsy street that ends at railroad tracks. Inside, just as the name implies, the structure is as cool as a refrigerated case, even on a warm sunny afternoon in early fall.

The rough brick and concrete walls of the main space stretch up and up. On that day, they ended in rows of multi-colored lights strung above a stage set to resemble Woolf’s writing Lodge at Monk’s House in Sussex.

I sat in the front row, just inches from the low stage, ready to absorb the wordless drama about a woman who chose her words so well.

The stage was simply set, but each item was placed with special meaning. The wooden coat rack at stage left held the dark coat that Virginia would wear on her last walk. The small table at stage right held a framed photo of a couple that I imagined as Leonard and Virginia on their wedding day.

In the center was her famous writing table. I imagined that the notebook sitting there contained her draft of Between the Acts. When I noticed a walking stick leaning nearby, I wondered if Woolf had actually used one when she left for the River Ouse.

The performance itself froze me in my seat. I was mesmerized by its darkness and drama and lightness and euphoria all at once.

Two Virginias — the adult and her younger self — teased each other lightly and played cat and mouse with a pen. Two half-brothers struggled with the terrified young Virginia, who was consoled by her adult self.

Her lover Vita Sackville-West let down her long, flowing hair and romanced Virginia. Her nephew Julian Bell played at being a soldier then marched off to war as a real one. And Leonard Woolf was either there in the background or by her side, the steady companion.

When Virginia’s companions left her, and she pulled her coat off the rack and slipped it on,  I felt new empathy for this brilliant woman who felt forced to take that final walk. I did not want her to go alone. (more…)

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