Following on from the success of the Summer Play, Blood Wedding, in the Sunken Garden and on tour in Spain, the Drama Department staged another of Federico Garcia Lorca’s famed productions with three well received performances of Yerma, this time in the Old Gym.
The second play in Lorca’s celebrated ‘Rural Trilogy’, Yerma tells the story of a childless woman living in rural Spain.
Her desperate desire for motherhood becomes an obsession that eventually drives her to commit a horrific crime.
Yerma is widely regarded as the best of the three with much of the play rooted in Lorca’s own life.
Nell Petheram (I) excelled in the leading role of Yerma bringing a sensitivity and vulnerability to the role that far exceeded her age.
She was, of course, supported by a strong cast who worked extremely hard to bring Lorca’s vision of 1930’s Spain to life in the Old Gym.
Together they portrayed the powerful themes of isolation, passion and frustration ably, while also navigating the subtler themes of nature, marriage, jealousy and friendship with aplomb. Special mention must be made to Matthew Keel (E), Daisy de Normann (J) and Kit Hurren (G) as the other main characters in Yerma’s story.
“It is a tough play and we did not shy away from its issues. I hope the pupils enjoyed being part of it and watching it”, said Director Nic Saunders following the final performance.
“After introducing the College to Lorca last year with our immersive production of Blood Wedding, I think we took our work a step further and staged this one much more in keeping with Lorca’s intentions.
“In his plays, Lorca aimed to avoid the fuss and clutter of Naturalism and instead, embrace empty spaces, colour, music, song, poetry and feelings. The stripped down and minimalist set in the Old Gym was an attempt to stage the play as he would have intended and I hope he would have approved.”
A massive thank you must be given to Flamenco guitarist, Ramon Ruiz and Flamenco dancers Lourdes Fernandez and Carlos Otero, who brought an authentic sense of Spain to the production. Ruiz’s guitar could be heard throughout the play while Fernandez and Otero appeared in the mist as they took to the stage to dance as the Devil during an atmospheric and stirring ritual scene.
They afforded the pupils an opportunity to work alongside professional performers which helped to lift their own work, as well as that of the production as a whole, to a different level.