The House of Bernarda Alba (3 stars)

This article is from 2014

The House of Bernarda Alba

Lorca’s powerful all-female drama

Federico Garcia Lorca's intense hothouse melodrama is transferred reverentially to the stage by the Fourth Monkey Theatre Company; with a youthful, all-female cast crammed into a tiny venue, you can practically smell the hormones as the classic study of domestic repression unfolds.

Eve Scott hits the right note of matriarchal sternness as Bernarda Alba, who announces an eight-year period of mourning for her late husband. Her daughters are less than thrilled by this news, with maid Poncia (a fiery Claudia Errico) fanning the flames until tragedy strikes in its surprising but inevitable fashion. Director Steve Green gets uniformly good performances from the cast, but the staging lacks dynamism: aside from an arresting opening as widows weeds are slowly donned, there's little in the presentation to rack up the drama; Lorca's best work (Blood Wedding, Yerma) doesn't require theatrical tricks, but has a striking visual quality that's intermittent here. The House of Bernarda Alba is a hard play to get right; Fourth Monkey's ambitious attempt at least gets the emotional content flowing.

theSpace on Niddry Street, 510 2383, until Aug 23, £11 (£9).

The House of Bernarda Alba

  • 3 stars

Fourth Monkey Theatre Company ‘It was perfect’ ★★★★★ (Edinburgh Guide). ’Frankly wonderful’ ★★★★ (Scotsman). Multi award nominated Fourth Monkey reimagine Lorca’s classic for the Fringe. Following her husband's death the domineering matriarch Bernarda Alba imposes an eight year mourning period on her five daughters.