Bernarda Alba

Garcia Lorca’s 1936 classic gets a musical makeover from Michael John LaChiusa whose off-Broadway version manages to both substantially cut the running time of the original and adds songs to this hothouse drama.

Confined within the walls of their all-female household (a rampant stallion, virile farm labourers and a faithless lover are spoken of but never seen) the five, black-clad daughters of twice-widowed Bernarda Alba ooze frustration and repressed sexual desire.

Beverley Klein plays the tyrannical matriarch with a bitter force, whilst folk tunes and the stamp and swirl of flamenco intensify the brooding sensation of a tragedy waiting to happen.

Union Theatre, Union Street, SE1 0LX
020 7261 9876
Tube: Southwark
Until September 17

– Louise Kingsley