The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?

After not really loving Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, I wasn’t sure whether to bother with Edward Albee’s other current West End play, The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?. However, along with a friend I queued up for a bargainous £5 day ticket (it’s so cheap because the stage is so high, but I’m quite tall so this wasn’t so much of a problem for me).

The play was fairly shocking when it was first performed (as recently as 2002), and it’s pretty shocking now, dealing with the taboo subject of bestiality. Successful, happily married architect Martin has fallen in love with a goat. As first his friend, then his wife Stevie and son Billy discover his secret, events move onto a tragic conclusion. The play is reminiscent of Greek tragedy, and has a similar kind of impact.

To handle a play like this you need some pretty good actors, and I thought Damian Lewis and Sophie Okonedo were both excellent in their roles. In particular Lewis brought sympathy to his extremely challenging role, inviting the audience’s sympathy. I was also impressed with newcomer Archie Madekwe as the pair’s son.

I was very impressed by The Goat and I’m glad I made the effort to see it.