Lorca is rarely performed in London, but for this revival the National has enticed one of the UK’s most-in-demand actresses, Penelope Wilton. The play was completed by the Spanish playwright just two months before he was killed by supporters of Franco in 1936. Set in early 1930’s Spain, it tells of five daughters whose lives revolve around their mother Bernarda Alba and their off-the-wall grandmother. After their father has died, Bernarda demands that they mourn the loss for eight years — until tensions build to a boiling point.
The production is directed by Howard Davies, with designs by Vicki Mortimer. Paule Constable supplies the lighting designs, Cominic Muldowney the music, and Paul Groothuis the sound design.
Alongside Wilton, the cast includes Mary Cunningham, Deborah Findlay, Beth Fitzgerald, Maria Golledge, Sally Hawkins, Jennifer Hill, Katherine Manners, Sandy McDade, Jo McInnes, Pamela Merrick, Justine Mitchell, Cherry Morris, Jennifer Scott-Malden, Rachael Spence, Sophie Trot and Kirsty Wood.
The show is Hare’s first for the National since 2004’s Stuff Happens — his meditation on the Iraq War, which attracted huge media attention.
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