Theatre review: Hilda and Virginia

What a great little theatre Jermyn Street is. Tucked away behind Piccadilly Circus…it is intimate, friendly with cutting edge programming.

“Hilda and Virginia” are two plays about two very different women.  Written with a sure hand, by accomplished playwright and poet Maureen Duffy.

These monologues explore the life and experiences of Hilda, a sixth Century Abbess and Virginia Woolf, writer and founder member of the Bloomsbury set.

Hilda and Virginia’s contrasting and fascinating lives are revealed through interesting facts, garlanded with poetic flair.

Monologues are always a challenge for the actor, and although I was not always convinced by her characterization I thought Sarah Crowden had a good stab at it.

Maureen Duffy devotees will not want to miss this literary treat and the Jermyn Street theatre is definitely one to watch!

Hilda and Virginia @ Jermyn Street Theatre

  • Tue, 27th February 2018 - Sat, 3rd March 2018
  • Written by Maureen Duffy
  • A World Premiere, directed by Natasha Rickman

Starring:  Sarah Crowden

“No one is ever truthful. Everyone shifts, makes shift, is shifty and shiftless together, is a chameleon and a shape-changer.”

Maureen Duffy’s double-bill tells the story of two remarkable women.

The Choice is the story of a very unsaintly saint. Hilda of Whitby, who brought Christianity to the Anglo-Saxons, was a businesswoman, teacher and adviser to kings.

In A Nightingale in Bloomsbury Square, Virginia Woolf looks back on her life, uncovering the hidden stories behind her iconic novels. From the torture of depression to the scandal of her lesbian affairs, Virginia goes down fighting.

As the saying goes: well-behaved women don’t make history…

Maureen DuffyAbout Maureen Duffy

Playwright, poet, novelist, biographer, Maureen Duffy burst onto the British theatre scene with her National Theatre debut in 1968, Rites. Duffy’s work since includes the hugely influential The Microcosm, and the Londoners trilogy has enshrined her as one of our most important contemporary writers.

She is said to have been Britain’s first lesbian to ‘come out’ in public, and made public comments during the debates around homosexual law reform. In 1977 she published The Ballad of the Blasphemy Trial, a broadside against the trial of the Gay News newspaper for ‘blasphemous libel’.

Sarah CrowdenAbout Sarah Crowden

Sarah Crowden is a British character actress who works extensively on film, television, and in the theatre. She is known for her appearances in Dustin Hoffman’s Quartet and as Lady Manville in Downton Abbey.

Theatre appearances include RSC, West End and The Young Vic.

Film includes appearances in Mr Holmes, Dustin Hoffman's Quartet and Miss Potter.

Natasha Rickman - DirectorAbout Natasha Rickman

Natasha Rickman is Artistic Associate at Jermyn Street Theatre.

​Natasha trained at RADA. She is co-founder and director of Women At RADA which produces readings and events to promote gender equality on stage. She is a core ensemble member with The Faction and was nominated for an Offie for Best Female Performance in a Supporting Role 2015/6 for playing Marge in the Talented Mr Ripley with the company.