Theatre in Wales

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BERNARDA ALBA The last play penned by a poet and renowned dramatist excecuted during the Spanish Civil War will tour some of Wales’ main theatres next month.

Frederico Garcia Lorca’s Tŷ Bernarda Alba (The House of Bernarda Alba) is a Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru (the Welsh National Theatre Company) production that has been adapted into Welsh by Mererid Hopwood - the only female ever to win the bardic chair in the National Eisteddfod of Wales. Two years later, in 2003, the First-Class Honours Spanish and German Graduate from Llangynnwr near Carmarthen also won the Eisteddfod’s bardic crown followed by the festival’s Prose Medal last year.

“Mererid’s writing talents excels once again in this her adaptation of Lorca’s last and most poignant play,” said Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s Deputy Artsitic Director, Judith Roberts.
“As a consequence she is now part of a long tradition of Welsh literary giants who have successfully brought the best of European theatre to a Welsh audience,” she added.

The play, that explores themes of repression, passion and conformity, centers on the events of a house in rural Spain during a period of mourning, in which the 60-year-old widow, Bernarda, wields total and tragic control over the whole household including her five daughters. Although the effect of men on women is a continuous theme the love interest of Bernarda’s daughters never appears to the audience.

The play was completed shortly before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 but was not performed for another nine years. Lorca’s work was banned by Franco’s incoming fascist regime with Bernarda’r cruel tyranny seen as being a parody of the activities of Spain’s new political rulers.

Lorca himself was abducted and murdered by persons unknown and his body was never found. An investigation is still ongoing into his death as a crime against humanity during the Spanish Civil war and the Franco era.

The whole female cast o Tŷ Bernarda Alba includes well-known and hugely experinced stage and televison actressses like Sian Alwen Ffion Wyn Bowen, Rhian Jayne Bull, Carys Eleri, Jenny Livsey, Betsan Llwyd, Catrin Morgan, Rhian Morgan, Sharon Morgan, Christine Pritchard and Tonya Smith. The play is directed by Judith Roberts supported by lighting director, Nick Munford and set designer, Colin Falconer. The music for the production is composed by Conor Linehan.

The tour will start in Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre (029 2064 6900) on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday evenings, 13-15 May, 2009, before going on to:
• The Aberystwyth Arts Centre (01970 62 32 32) on Wednesday and Thursday evening, 20-21 May, 2009;

• Swansea’s Taliesin Arts Centre (01792 60 20 60)
on Thursday and Friday evenings, 4-5 June, 2009;

• Cardigan’s Theatr Mwldan (01239 621200) Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings, 10-12 June, 2009;

• Llandudno’s Venue Cymru (01492 872000) on Thursday and Friday evenings, 18-19 June, 2009.

All performances start at 7.30pm.

Theatr Genedlaethol is funded by the Arts Council of Wales.
theatr genedlaetholo cymru  
web site

Monday, April 27, 2009back



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