Coming soon: The House of Bernarda Alba

SINGAPORE - Local theatre company W!ld Rice will stage Spanish playwright Frederico Garcia Lorca's explosive tale of suppressed desires and jealousies, The House Of Bernarda Alba, in March.

Part of W!LD RICE's Masterpiece Theatre season, it tells the story of a tyrannical matriarch who compels her five daughters to enter an eight-year period of mourning after the death of their father.

The text was adapted into English by veteran Singaporean playwright and director Chay Yew. Chay's contemporary adaptation has been staged to great acclaim in America.

"I was fascinated by the premise of the play - that Bernarda could demand that her daughters be shut in for eight years of grieving," says Glen Goei, W!LD RICE Associate Director and the director of this production. "There's so much there about rules, tradition and keeping up appearances that is so strikingly reminiscent of our own lives here in Singapore."

Claire Wong leads the award-winning all-female cast in the title role. Chafing under Bernarda's unrelenting rule are her five daughters, who will be played by Neo Swee Lin, Karen Tan, Serene Chen, Noorlinah Mohamed and Glory Ngim. Margaret Chan returns to the stage as Bernarda's mother, Maria Josefa.

Rounding out the powerhouse ensemble are Jo Kukathas and Sharda Harrison as members of the Alba household's domestic help and Sharon Lim as a family friend.

ellenja@sph.com.sg

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