Die Huis van Maria Malan (A)

Playwright: Nico Luwes
Director: Nico Luwes
Venue: Wynand Mouton Theatre

Dates and times:

21 March 2012 19h30
22 March 2012 19h30
23 March 2012 19h30

R30 for adults
R25 for pensioners
R20 for scholars and students
R15 for Theatre Club Members

Bookings: Computicket (Mimosa Mall and Checkers)
Bookings for block bookings of 10 or more people can be done with Thys Heydenrych (072 235 3191)

Die Huis van Maria Malan is an Afrikaans adaptation of House of Bernarda Alba, Federico Garcia Lorca's and is his last play, written the year he was killed at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. The play, along with Blood Wedding and Yerma, forms a trilogy expressing what Lorca saw as the tragic life of Spanish women. These late works Dennis Klein in Blood Wedding, Yerma, and The House of Bernardo Alba called "the most accomplished and mature efforts of the finest Spanish playwright of the twentieth century." If Blood Wedding is a nuptial tragedy and Yerma the tragedy of barren women, The House of Bemarda Alba might be seen as the tragedy of virginity, of rural Spanish women who will never have the opportunity to choose a husband. It is also a play expressing the costs of repressing the freedom of others.

The House of Bemarda Alba finally had its stage premiere nearly a decade after Lorca's death. The play was produced in Buenos Aries in 1945, and was published the same year, in Argentina. Given the repression of artistic expression in Spain during Franco's regime, it was not until 1964 that Lorca's last play was finally produced in his native country, at Madrid's Goya Theatre. Its setting is specific to the values and customs of a rural Spanish people, but the play's appeal is universal rather than national.

In this adaptation the play is set in a conservative South African context during 1910-1915. The play is perfect for 3rd year students as all the characters roles are played by women in a complicated plot with interesting interpersonal relationships. The contrast in values between the workers and the daughters of the strict matriarch, Maria Malan, creates new impetus to and meaning in the play within the South African context.

All the daughters are in love with Hermanus van Wyk, the smartest and most attractive young man of the region. He will probably marry the oldest and ugliest daughter for the money she inherited from her late father. According to tradition, the young girls are forced to mourn the loss of their father for a long time and may not leave the house. At night we can hear the stud of Hermanus galloping around the house. What is he up to? Does he perhaps visit someone at her window? Soon the suffocating house of Maria Malan become bees nest of suppressed emotions, conspiracies and mistrust. The matriarch soon stands helpless against the laws of nature and the tragedy that looms on the horizon.

Nico Luwes is responsible for the adaptation and direction. 12 third year students play the main roles and the rest of the class take up the roles of women of the town. The play is performed from 21 to 23 March in die Wynand Mouton Theatre at 19:30.

Book at Computicket.

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