Thursday 12th – Saturday 14th Feb.
Elizabeth Taylor Lydia Poole
Richard Burton Ken McConnell
Writer/Director Dhanil Ali
The Mac Theatre in Birmingham put on a unique performance of The Liz and Dick Show. This show, starring Lydia Poole as Elizabeth Taylor and Ken McConnell as Richard Burton, follows the story of the two famous actors on the set of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Dhanil Ali does an excellent job directing these two to create a realistic representation of the real relationship of Liz and Dick.
One of the best aspects of this performance is the accent that Lydia Poole uses for her character of Elizabeth Taylor. Being an American, it was hard even for me to know that Poole is not an American actress. It is an extremely impressive accent, and I cannot compliment it enough. Burton’s Welsh accent is also executed well, showcasing the talent of both actors and making the performance very accurate.
The story follows the relationship between the couple while on the set of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf; the film that earned Elizabeth Taylor an Oscar, with the help of Richard Burton who coached her acting on the set. Throughout the show they fight and flirt, and the audience sees different aspects of the public and private lives of Liz and Dick.
The actors make the chemistry and passion obvious, as well as their sometimes loathing and aggressive attitudes. One of the most intense moments is when it becomes clear that Dick is extremely jealous of the Oscar that Elizabeth wins from her role as Virginia Woolf, causing tension and drama between the two. Dick feels that he deserves that Oscar. The acting done by both actors is incredible enough to make the audience feel these emotions themselves.
The end of the play becomes bittersweet as both characters reminisce about their relationship that they had in the past. Liz seems to have regrets towards the way things worked out between her and Dick, and the passion and sadness that Elizabeth feels is felt by the audience as well. Poole does an excellent job in portraying Elizabeth and this incredible sadness. The acting done by both parties is seriously realistic and wonderful to watch. It was real, and it cannot be praised highly enough.
Overall, this was a very unique performance which gave an amazing insight into the relationship of two of the most famous Hollywood actors who ever lived.