Set in 1930s Spain, The House of Bernarda Alba centres on a widow and her five sexually unfulfilled daughters. After her husband's death, how will Bernarda Alba keep control of the household in a male-dominated society? In their different ways, each of the girls battles to break free of their oppressive environment where behavioural censorship is the norm. But can they escape before it's too late? And who will marry Pepe-el-Romano?
The House of Bernarda Alba was Lorca's final masterpiece explores domestic fascism in Spain in 1936, challenging its wider social and political implications. Written in 1936, the play explores domestic fascism, challenging its wider social and political implications, and powerfully portrays the position of women in society. Lorca did not live to see it performed as he was assassinated by the Nationalists later that year.
At the Orange Tree, the all-female cast are Daisy Ashford, Sheila Burrell, Rowena Cooper, Sam Dowson, Leah Muller and Paula Stockbridge, who return to the Orange Tree and newcomers Aimee Cowen, Eileen Davies, Lynn Farleigh and Anna Northam. The production is designed by Julie Nelson, with lighting by John Harris.
The House of Bernarda Alba will be accompanied by a seminar, held on Saturday 12 April 2003, looking at The Life and Work of Lorca as well as a rehearsed reading, on Sunday 30 March, of Bernard Adams' new play Ay Federico! about the Spanish playwright's early life.
- by Terri Paddock