Five daughters live together in a single household with a tyrannical mother. When the father of all but the eldest girl dies, a cynical marriage is advanced which will have tragic consequences for the whole family. Lorca's fascinatingly modern play, rendered here in an English version by David Hare, speaks as powerfully as a political metaphor of oppression as it does as domestic drama.
The House of Bernarda Alba premiered at the National Theatre, London, in March 2005.
Mariana Pineda achieved immediate critical success on its first performance in Barcelona in 1927. The Public is a powerful and uncompromising demand for sexual, and specifically homosexual, freedom - as predicted it was never performed in Lorca's time - it was first performed in this country by Theatre Royal Stratford East in the 80s. Play Without a Title, an unfinished Lorca rarity, realises his wish 'to do something different, including modern plays on the age we live in'.
The Shoemaker's Wonderful Wife and The Love of Don Perlimplín use an old story of the old man married to the young wife to expose the social attitudes of a traditional Spain bound by rigid concepts of decency, reputation and honour. The Puppet Play deploys the puppets' uninhibited and passionate emotions as a direct attack on the 'tedious triviality' of commercial theatre. The Butterfly's Evil Spell explores the themes of love and frustration, while When Five Years Pass is a surrealist play with references to the film Un Chien Andalou [The Andalusian Dog] by Lorca's friend and collaborator, Luis Buñuel.