The House of Bernarda Alba

Jump to navigation Jump to search

The House of Bernarda Alba (Spanish: La casa de Bernarda Alba) [1] is a play by the Spanish dramatist Federico García Lorca. Lorca described the play in its subtitle as a drama of women in the villages of Spain. The House of Bernarda Alba was Lorca's last play, completed on 19 June 1936, two months before his death during the Spanish Civil War. The play was first performed in 1945.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into English by James Graham-Lujan and Richard L. O'Connell. Published by New Directions, 1955.

Translated into Afrikaans as Die Huis van Bernarda Alba by Uys Krige. Published by Tafelberg Uitgewers (1980).

The English and Afrikaans translations were adapted into an Afrikaans play Die Huis van Maria Malan, set in South Africa, by Nico Luwes.

Performance history in South Africa

1951: Staged in June for the University of Cape Town Drama Department in the Little Theatre, directed by Leonard Schach, featuring Edna Jacobson, Lydia Lindeque, June Range and others. Decor by Cecil Pym.

1952: Staged in September by the Johannesburg REPS with a cast including Muriel Alexander, Molly Seftel and Mary Mitchell.)

1962: Presented by University Theatre Stellenbosch, produced by Jo Gevers who also designed the decor. The cast were Gertie Smith-Visser (Bernarda), Carmen Haddad, Annietjie Vorster, Louise Saayman, Ilse Geyer, Antoinette Terblanche, Leslie Young, Lena Eksteen, Estelle Knobel, Christine Basson and others. Lighting by Emile Aucamp, costumes designed by Marie Pentz.

1973: Krige's Afrikaans translation was staged by Universiteitsteater Stellenbosch in the H.B. Thom Theatre in May 1973, directed by Ria Olivier starring Antoinette Kellermann as Bernarda Alba, Sybil Coetzee, Tessa Cowan, Lize Treurnicht, Lois Malan and others. Decor and costumes designed by Neels Hansen, lighting by Emile Aucamp.

199*: Presented by UCT Drama School, produced and directed by Geoffrey Hyland.

The English translation was staged at the Market Theatre in July 2003, adapted by Rona Munro and directed by Swedish director Maria Weisby, with Lindiwe Ndlovu (Bernarda), Nthabiseng Baloyi (Angustias), Phindile Ntuli (Adela), Nomathamsanga Baleka (a magogo), Takalani Phophi (Martirio), Lerato Maku (Magdalena) and Ntombi Maqalika (Amelia). Set designed by Nadya Cohen, costumes by Margo Fleisch and lighting by Nomvula Molepo.

Suzaan Keyter directed a University of Stellenbosch production of Die Huis van Bernarda Alba in the H.B. Thom Theatre 17-20 August 2005.

2012: The Luwes adaptation Die Huis van Maria Malan was staged in March in the Wynand Mouton Theatre, directed by Nico Luwes with students of the UFS Department of Drama and Theatre Arts.


Helikon, 2(9):10.

Inskip, 1977. p 118

UTS theatre pamphlet

Sunday Independent, 13 July 2003.

The Star, 15 July 2003.

The Citizen, 15 July 2003.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to H in Plays II Foreign Plays

Return to South_African_Theatre/Plays

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page