Thompson Arts Center at Park Avenue Armory, New York
April 7, 2018
Yermahas always been a brave and dangerous play. Often cited as the work that led to its author’s assassination two years after its first production in 1934, the second of Federico García Lorca’s Rural Trilogydeals with issues of religious faith, marital fidelity and the empowerment of women that were in its day inimical to both the Catholic Church and to social conservatives. What Australian director Simon Stone’s brilliant and daring updated adaptation proves is that the play has lost none of its teeth, and in Billie Piper’s searingly visceral, at times unwatchably painful incarnation of the central character, audiences can witness what has to be one of the great acting performances of the decade.
Billie Piper as Her and Thalissa Teixeira as Des in Yerma. Photo © Stephanie Berger
Lorca’s housewife Yerma and her farm labourer husband Juan become simply ‘Her’, a successful journalist, cultural commentator and blogger, and John, her Aussie businessman partner. Part of an all too recognisable ‘champagne socialist’ set, they flaunt their left-wing, liberal credentials while quietly acquiring a new home in a gentrifying London...