The House of Bernarda Alba
The National theatre
Choose one production that you have seen and which you particularly
enjoyed and discuss the aspects which made it so successful?
The House of Bernarda Alba is a tragedy by Lorca which was set in
Spain in the early 1930’s during the Spanish civil war and is about
five daughters whose life’s resolve around their mother Bernarda Alba.
The girls are repressed by there mother which could be why he wrote
this play, to express his feelings and show through the characters how
he felt during life as he was repressed for being gay “better never to
lay eyes on a man, never to have seen one’.
I enjoyed ‘The House of Bernarda Alba’ as many aspects of the play
There was a large, complicated realistic set like Stanislavski would
use with period costumes and props which allowed the audience to see
it visually which helped believability in the play as it contributed
to the realistic acting. It helped you feel like you were in Spain, as
a hot climate was suggested through the set; it was exotic, light and
Spanish looking. The props gave a sense of the period the play was set
for example the radio, the bell, the wash basin and the sewing
machines were all authentic.
The set was in Bernarda Alba’s house which was a grand mansion with a
gilt, lofty ceiling. I think the towering interior clearly represented
the distorted mind of Bernarda Alba. The house was a very open, free
place for the girls to roam around in. It had a courtyard in the
centre, light green walls making it seem larger and many plants,
showing the outside was brought inside. I felt this was a success as
the set showed how Bernarda Alba didn’t want the girls to leave the
house as there were closed shutters down to the floor; this showed the
girls were isolated from the outside world. The set designer has
evidently striven to create a physical space which represented
There were four stone pillars which I feel could have represented four
of the daughters and the last daughter was represented by the drain
shaped as a cross on the courtyard, which showed she died. I also felt
that the pillars were successful as they might signify the house is
like a prison for the girls, and they are the bars. There were two
stained glass windows one which was broken which gave a sense that
once there father had died there was no one else to fix it as Bernarda
Alba won’t let any other man fix it because of the fear of her girls
getting involved in men. It also could be there to signify that the
girl’s dreams are broken as they are trapped in the house.
The lighting was naturalistic; as it showed the different times of the
day and the direction of the lighting. They used yellow lighting which
looked like it was shining through the windows to represent a bright,
sunny, hot day and grey/blue lighting was used for moonlight when they
were eating the meal in the evening. Realism was...