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The play is set in the dark rooms of the Alba home where Bernarda rules, dd imposing a devastating 8-year long period of mourning on the household following the death of her husband Antonio Benavides. This level bernadda control drives them to bitterness towards one another, terrified to change the status quo.

There are five daughters, Angustias, the eldest 39 Magdalena 30 Amelia 27 Martirio 24 and Adela only There are no coincidences in these names, they emphasize the pain of their situation. The girls yearn to marry and be free but they fear what is outside as much as their bernardw emotions that are eating them from within. Even an open door elicits a gasp and silence before they are able to react. No men appear on stage, but their movements are followed longingly by the girls from behind the barred windows, so tantalizingly present and so out of reach.

Federico Garcia Lorca Books and Book Reviews | LoveReading

Bernarda reminds them that women should only see men in church and then only see the priest for prayers, and no others. Bernarda has thwarted previous marriage hopes for the hunchback Martirio, telling herself it had to be so, from a sense of duty, to stop her marrying below her class. It’s just that your daughters are of an age when nernarda ought to have husbands. Mighty little trouble they give you. Angustias must be much more than thirty now. None of them has ever had a beau and they’ve never needed one!

They get along very well. To all this tension, some natural sounds added an unexpected effect to this production. As the theatre is built into a railway arch, there is the sporadic rumbling of the trains. In this play, it was as if the rumblings were emerging from a volcano below, brewing from the repressed sexual energy as the sisters dream of marriage as an escape, but as La Poncia remarks:.


Above all, Lorca explores repression as an overpowering theme. With strands of an almost pagan interpretation of the power of earth, water and fire on the human soul, there is a close connection with nature, mostly human nature. Her inability to bernrda her obsessive need to have a child likens her to an infertile and barren earth.

In Bernarda Alba, the fire of the alna sexual passions of the daughters burns so intensely that it ends up destroying them all in one way or another. Lorca suggests that to deny these intense passions can only lead to death, tragedy and violence but as Adela shows, in so many cases despite all her efforts to protect her individuality, it is not enough and cannot not save her either. All the more tragically because Pepe El Romano is clearly not worthy of her love. In effect, The House of Bernarda Alba begins with a death and ends with a death.

Her grandmother Maria Josefa sums him up in her delirium: All of you want him. No, not grains of wheat.

The play opens with the endless tolling bells from the funeral service at the church. In every way he can, Lorca openly challenges the repression that he sees in Catholicism with its strict moral codes, that he feels imprison people emotionally in their small villages, killing off all their individuality and joy. He riles against the accompanying hypocrisy that comes with that repression. Bernarda Alba imposes a strict eight-year period of mourning on her young daughters, totally depriving them of their hopes of marriage and a normal life.

Her terror of gossip and any loss of respectability overpowers any compassion she might have had for them. But Bernarda Alba is unable to listen, devoured by her own fears and obsessive sense of duty. So much so, that despite the loss of her child, she cannot stop herself being more concerned about what the neighbours think: Carry her to her room and dress her as a maiden, no one will dare say a word. She died a virgin! Bernarda is riddled with hypocrisy.

‘La Casa de Bernarda Alba’ By Federico Garcia Lorca

Like a disease, it has eaten up her humanity. Lorca brings out the true nature of man when subject to life under a bernwrda of dos. In the opening scene, the sisters are completely covered in black from head to toe, with veils over their heads, totally isolated csa the light and each other.

Like rigid statues they appear stiff and barely able to move. As the play progresses, they reveal their rage, bitterness, intense jealousies and even hatred. In this process, they also shed their clothes until, by removing layer upon layer, Lorca reveals their inner natures, and they end up writhing on the floor in their nightdresses, their naked feelings out in the open.


These two interpretations of the play are very interesting.

The different rhythm and weight of the two languages affect the dynamic on stage in unexpected ways. English is a more cerebral language, more precise, with shorter words and less flowery. Moments of humour arose from caasa irony and people laughed out loud, especially to ironic comments from Bernarda Alba and the servants.

There were no laughs in the Spanish version, one picked up a different vibe altogether. Spanish words are largely two or more syllables, so there is heavier, earthier rhythm with a beernarda intensity, so inevitably the two versions emphasized slightly different aspects of the story as a result.

The performances were all very moving and convincing.

‘La Casa de Bernarda Alba’ By Federico Garcia Lorca | Latino Life

I would never have dared to contradict her. Totally believable, she was genuinely scary. The English Bernarda, on the other hand, played by Mary Conlon was nimbler in her movements and by being more expressive was less menacing but at the same time invited dasa empathy as her personal inner dilemmas seeped through a bit more.

This was a large cast with laba performers. The anguish and despair of all the characters are palpable in each and every one, no one was spared. For more info visit: Skip to main content. About Us Add your event Search contact us subscribe to newsletter.

Jorge de Juan directs a stunning new version of the intense and powerful play by Federico Garcia Lorcaone of the greatest Spanish writers of the 20th century. A musician, a poet and a playwright Lorca died young but left an extraordinary body of work that is still relevant today.

In betnarda play, it was as if the rumblings were emerging from a volcano below, brewing from the repressed sexual energy as the sisters dream of marriage as an escape, but as La Poncia remarks: Latin Londoners of An inspired Cuban Production of Bizet’s Carmen. Latin Londoners of Monday, December 31, – Sports Personalities of Monday, December 31, – Football Personalities of Sunday, December 30, – Thursday, December 27, – Like us on Facebook.