revew: Yusra Warsama – The House of Bernarda Alba (WIP)
The House of Bernarda Alba/
by Federico García Lorca/
dir Yusra Warsama/
this ‘revew’ is a collection of sketches/
less a ‘review’ even than usual//
. Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba is bloody old by now . written in 1936 . ive noticed age in it before . or at least in the characters a density of experience that communicates age . weight . a strong pair of shoulders . & age is important to the plot too . Angustias is an old maid by the time she finds a fiancé . the women all seem to wield age and time as a grudge and a weapon against each other . whether because someone is crumbling at the onslaught or tied by loyalty time is a crutch a cord tying them to each other .
. Bernarda Alba is a hot play . crushingly hot . the women are weighed down by the heat they pray for rain some lie awake all night . Manchester is not hot . yesterday actually was the first time ive properly seen the sky here all week . it was all blue . it was cold . there are strong winds here and the city centre glistens with rain in the winter . we are not in Spain . this is fine though . Yusra Warsama does not wish us to be in Spain .
. Warsama picks her threads . Spain is that mixture of Moorish Islam and Catholicism . weve our own mixtures here . Warsama places Lorcas poetry in the mouths of a Somali family living in Moss Side . the stage is blue . the meter goes . the women are not allowed out . and we are in Manchester now . and we are in Spain .
. it is an adaptation in images . starkest are flung ropes . the wrapped xeedho . the women gathered as if for a portrait .
. Lorcas rural Spain is dense and pressing with agendas with grudges with histories . Moss Side is no less dense . is no less shaken into being by thousands of lives . hundreds of thousands of years of personal histories . Lorca stirs the dust of the Spanish soil and it stings the eyes . wakes the passions . here perhaps something also stirs .