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The House of Bernarda Alba

Lorca's House of Bernarda Alba performed at Norwich Garage.

Lorca’s House of Bernarda Alba performed at Norwich Garage.

 

The House of Bernarda Alba

Norwich Theatre Royal Youth Company

at The Garage, Norwich

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 4 April 2015

Norwich’s Theatre Royal Youth Company tackles Lorca’s final play in a version by David Hare with skill and commitment.

It opens after Bernarda Alba has been widowed for the second time leaving her with five daughters and step daughters. She declares eight years of mourning upon the hapless girls in the claustrophobic confines of the hot Spanish household, proclaiming, ‘You have no right except to obey.’

However, young women’s rising passions and natural desires are not easily suppressed. As their struggles to break free of Bernarda (Kirsty Clarke) and each other reach a tragic ending, human nature cannot be held back by social normality.

Director Michelle Montague produces intriguing moments of physicality to heighten tensions, religious undercurrents, raw hurt and bitter jealousies that divide the girls.

Millie Amies, Alexandra Bannon, Cathryn Fenton, Gemma Faulkner, Jane Prinsley and Francesca Ali sustain family and personal struggles with excellent pacing, well supported by Hannah Bethell and Savanah Gray as staff.

It’s a brave play choice, but this production successfully juxtaposes life and death, hope and despair, fear and obsession with style and conviction.

Image: Loudes Cardenal

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