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The House of Bernarda Alba

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19th April 2005 The House of Bernarda Alba The National theatre Choose one production that you have seen and which you particularly enjoyed and discuss the aspects which made it so successful? The House of Bernarda Alba is a tragedy by Lorca which was set in Spain in the early 1930's during the Spanish civil war and is about five daughters whose life's resolve around their mother Bernarda Alba. The girls are repressed by there mother which could be why he wrote this play, to express his feelings and show through the characters how he felt during life as he was repressed for being gay "better never to lay eyes on a man, never to have seen one'. I enjoyed 'The House of Bernarda Alba' as many aspects of the play were successful. There was a large, complicated realistic set like Stanislavski would use with period costumes and props which allowed the audience to see it visually which helped believability in the play as it contributed to the realistic acting. It helped you feel like you were in Spain, as a hot climate was suggested through the set; it was exotic, light and Spanish looking. ...read more.


The lighting was naturalistic; as it showed the different times of the day and the direction of the lighting. They used yellow lighting which looked like it was shining through the windows to represent a bright, sunny, hot day and grey/blue lighting was used for moonlight when they were eating the meal in the evening. Realism was created through the lighting successfully as you could see gobos representing the shapes of the windows projected on the floor and the light was brighter where the windows were. At one point in the play an unnatural red light effectively was used when a baby dies to symbolize the death, blood and murder. Realistic sound effects such as thunder, people, a clock, a bell, a horse, a dog and a bang also made the play come to life as they were used in the right places at there right time as well as the classical music used to create tension. The costumes worked well at the start of the play to show what the scene was about when their father has just died and there was a funeral in their house. ...read more.


Every time someone would stroll in the room they would jump as they thought it was their mother and if their mother did come in they would sit down immediately and sit in silence sewing. If their mother asked them a question you would hear a fearful tremble in their voice as they replied showing they lived in fear of their mother. Another way in which the actors of the girls were effective is the way they reacted to men. The only men the girls would ever see apart from their father, was the man who delivers the fabric. So in the play when Pepe came to the door all the girls would get excited and start jumpy around screaming as they ran out the door. I feel this play was generally a very successful piece of realistic drama because of the set, costumes, lighting and the acting. It had a detailed set and several strong actors which helped bring the play to life as well as real rain at the end to create a dramatic effect. Long silences were used in the play to produce tension and it used comedy and tragedy to engage the audience. ...read more.

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