REVIEW The House of Bernarda Alba
Thursday 23rd February 2017 @ 11:54 by Adam Higgins
Entertainment Film Reviews

The Royal Exchange Theatre and Graeae Theatre Company co-production of The House of Bernarda Alba by Federico Garcia Lorca is playing at the Royal Exchange Theatre until Saturday (February 25).

Translated by Jo Clifford, it is directed by Jenny Sealey, who co-directed the London 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony and has been Artistic Director of Graeae since 1997.

The award-winning Kathryn Hunter is in the title role in this captivating play with themes of female identity, oppression, sexuality and exploration of power.

It also showcases the incredible talent of deaf and disabled actors integrating British sign language communicating the storytelling, audio description and captioning as Lorca’s poetic words of his fi nal masterpiece are illuminated around the theatre.

This production is outstanding and Kathryn Hunter is mesmerising to watch and to listen to with her deep vocal range that penetrates the theatre space.

Lorca’s final masterpiece is a story about Bernarda’s matriarchal control over her daughters and is a play about tyranny and love. Bernarda rules the household with intense cruelty of tough love and although slight in stature, Hunter is powerful, dominant and passionate about protecting her daughters from the enticement of male suitors.

Following the death of her husband, she isolates her five daughters from the outside world throughout eight years of mourning, but is challenged when Angustias attracts a wealthy suitor leading to tragic consequences.

Alison Halstead (Poncia) is compelling in the role and the cast is completed by Natalie Amber, Hermon Berhane, Chloë Clarke, Philippa Cole, Kellan Frankland, Paddy Glynn, Nadia Nadarajah, EJ Raymond and Freddie Stabb.

Performance times are at 7.30pm. You can contact the Box Office on 0161 833 9833 or visit www.royalexchange.co.uk.

 

Review by Denise Evans

 

Main picture:

Lead character: The award-winning Kathryn Hunter (photo by Jonathan Keenan)