Vita and Virginia
The true account of the passionate relationship between literary innovator Virginia Woolf and her only lover Vita Sackville-West. Written by multi-award winning actress/screenwriter Dame Eileen Atkins and based on her internationally acclaimed play, Vita and Virginia is a chronicle of two women struggling to find solace against the grain of society.
It’s the roaring 1920’s – and Virginia Woolf has reached the apex of modern world literature for her landmark book, Mrs. Dalloway. However nothing seems to soothe the darkness that plagues her. She is powerless over the mood swings that alternately lift herto manic creative heights and then crush her under suffocating melancholia, driving her deeper into seclusion. Virginia’s husband Leonard does what he can to prop her up, as do her Bloomsbury Group friends, but this is the price Woolf pays for her particular genius.
Director: Chanya Button
Writer: Dame Eileen Atkins
Producers: Evangelo Kioussis and Katie Holly
Executive Producer: Simon Baxter
A Co-Production with Blinder Films
Woolf’s illness, however, does not stop Vita Sackville-West from courting her with letters of admiration. Vita has a soft spot for Virginia’s writing – and being a Sapphist, she admits having one for Virginia herself. Vita’s letters and poems compel Virginia into a courtship that is hardly concealed from their respective husbands. Soon, Virginia is enthralled by Vita. She is everything Virginia is not – extroverted, direct, in possession of a strongly magnetic personality and, as Virginia writes, ‘amazing legs’.
Vita adventures into the far reaches of the Middle East and begins sending a series of love letters to Virginia, richly detailing her adventures and inspiring Woolf’s masterpiece Orlando. The novel chronicles the adventures of an androgynous hero who inhabits multiple lifetimes as both a man and a woman – a thinly veiled expression of Virginia’s own romantic awakening for Vita. Upon Vita’s return, the two women consummate their relationship – a major step for the sexually timid Woolf. Although she enjoys spells of contentedness through the next decade and a half of their turbulent relationship, Virginia eventually takes her own life in the River Ouse.
Virginia and Vita’s bond continues to live on in Woolf’s canonical literature, which enjoys even more popularity today than in her lifetime. Vita and Virginia is a timeless story, told in an exciting contemporary style, about two women who smashed through social barriers to find solace in forbidden connection.