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Yerma

“A poised production”
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Federico García Lorca’s Rural Trilogy at the Cervantes Theatre ends with a considered and confident production of his “tragic poem” Yerma, performed in two versions, with both an English and Spanish cast.

Adapted and directed by Jorge de Juan in a translation by Carmen Zapata and Michael Dewell, tragedy wells up from the most mundane situation.

Yerma, whose very name means “barren”, cannot bear a child in her marriage, and dreams of the “good, fresh, new, necessary” pain of feeding a baby.

In the title role Leila Damilola is completely disarming, singing to herself and crying in frustration, barefoot in her white slip.

Others live fulfilled lives around her; Coco Mbassi is a wry and warm standout as an older woman who gives her simple but honour-threatening advice.

The production’s pre-revolution Afro-Cuban setting allows the poetic, rustic language to unfold unhurriedly, marked by shepherd’s bells throughout. In a ritual scene in Fang and Yoruba, the play’s careful and spare movement gives way to fervent, individualised choreography by Jordana Mba.

Angel Haro’s set features a large hammock, which the production uses inventively, from Yerma’s childlike swinging to her cocooning herself within it, arrested at this stage of her life: unlike her husband, there’s nothing for her to do but care, and this production builds calmly to her earned bursting point.

 


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Production Details
Production nameYerma
VenueCervantes Theatre
LocationLondon
StartsOctober 28, 2018
EndsDecember 1, 2018
Running time1hr 30mins
AuthorFederico García Lorca
TranslatorCarmen Zapata, Michael Dewell
DirectorJorge De Juan
Set designerAngel Haro
Lighting designerNigel A Lewis
CastChristina Ellinas, Coco Mbassi, Gledys Ibarra, Jazz Brown, Latanya Peterkin, Leila Damilola, Stephanie Da Silva, Tom Whitelock
Stage managerMarta Cesar
ProducerCervantes Theatre
VerdictImpressively poised production of Lorca's tragedy
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Frey Kwa Hawking

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