By Frederico Garcia Lorca
Directed by Christabel Sved
With Ella Caldwell, Verity Charlton, Kate Cole, Olivia Connolly, Laura Gordon, Kat Stewart, Dawn Klinberg, Marijke Mann & Andrea Mersits
Set and Costumes by Emily Barrie
Lighting by Nick Merrylees
The House of Bernarda Alba (April 2 – May 4, 2003) –Elizabeth Young. Beat Magazine 15-Apr-03
The latest production from the prolific Red Stitch Actors Theatre is the final work by Spanish playwright Frederico Garcia Lorca, who was executed by the fascists during his country’s civil war. The House of Bernarda Alba is a study of the consequences of repression, and depicts the impact and fury of denied sexuality in a family of women ruled by fear and respectability.
Set in a world where love, marriage and mourning all have a price, and servants are granted more freedom within the social confines than their patrona, widower Bernarda decrees her house in mourning for the next eight years. The play explores the intricate relationship between five sisters forbidden to marry and oppressed by the church, their mother Bernarda and society. The rising undercurrents of suppressed passion build following the engagement of the eldest, exposing the force of forbidden love, feverish yearning and revenge.
The intimate theatre in which the play is staged, and powerful performances from the cast, capture the brutal subjugation of womanhood imprisoned by conventions, and the fatal cocktail of jealousy and simmering, denied desire.
The House of Bernarda Alba is presented with devastating rawness, exploring the way piety can become treacherous hypocrisy, and affluence impoverished.