Exclusive: Complete casting has been confirmed for the National Theatre’s staging of Alice Birch’s (Normal People) new version of Federico García Lorca’s The House of Bernada Alba.
Rebecca Frecknall, who has previously helmed the critically lauded productions of Cabaret, A Streetcar Named Desire, Summer and Smoke and Romeo and Juliet, will direct Birch’s adaptation. The piece follows five daughters living under strict matriachal rule – which is undermined when passion and desire comes into play.
As already confirmed, award-winner Harriet Walter (Succession) leads the piece, with Isis Hainsworth (recently seen in Frecknall’s adaptation of Romeo and Juliet) playing Adela – the youngest, most rebellious of Bernarda’s five daughters.
Playing Bernada’s eldest daughter Angustias is Rosalind Eleazar (Uncle Vanya) and Thusitha Jayasundera (The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power) will play the role of Poncia.
Joining them are Lizzie Annis (The Glass Menagerie) as Martirio, Pearl Chanda (Three Sisters) as Magdalena, Bryony Hannah (Call the Midwife) as Maid, Marcia Lecky (The Scottsboro Boys) as Prudencia, Eileen Nicholas (Village Idiot) as Maria Josefa and Eliot Salt (Fate: The Winx Saga) as Ameila.
Catharine Humphrys, Asha Kingsley, Celia Nelson, Ellouise Shakespeare-Hart, Georgia Silver, Imogen Mackie Walker, Charlotte Workman, James McHugh and Michael Naylor complete the adult cast. Esma Akar, Livia Courtand Sicily Rose De Bernardini will share the role of Young Girl.
The creative team also includes set and costume designer Merle Hensel, lighting designer Lee Curran, composer Isobel Waller-Bridge, sound designer Peter Rice, casting by Alastair Coomer CDG and Naomi Downham, and staff director Lilac Yosiphon. Composer Isobel Waller-Bridge (The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse) will write an original score for the production.
The piece, co-produced with Playful Productions, runs from 16 November to 6 January 2024. Tickets are available now through the National’s website.
It marks a return to the stage for Birch, following previous plays including Anatomy of a Suicide, Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. and [BLANK]. Her screen work includes writing for Succession, Lady Macbeth and Mothering Sunday.
The House of Bernada Alba will have captioned performances on 20 December and 6 January, a BSL interpreted performance on 6 December, audio described performances on 2 December and 5 January and a chilled performance on 30 December.