Out of the Wings

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Yerma (1930-1934), Federico García Lorca

Productions in Spanish

Yerma (Cipriano Rivas Cherif)

Director: Cipriano Rivas Cherif
Production company: Theatre Company of Enrique Borrás and Margarita Xirgu
Dates: December 1934
Venue: Teatro Español
Location: Madrid, Spain
Further information

The well-known actress Margarita Xirgu performed the part of Yerma.

Yerma (Víctor García)

Director: Víctor García
Production company: Nuria Espert Theatre Company
Dates: October 1972
Venue: Brooklyn Academy of Music
Location: Brooklyn, Spain
Further information

This performance was in Spanish with a simultaneous English translation (translator unknown). The famous actress Nuria Espert played the part of Yerma.

The staging of this production impressed critics. Víctor García moved away from site-specific rural Spain and set the play in an unrealistic setting, as Clive Barnes explains:

There is nothing realistic about this Yerma. It is acted on a trampoline – a fantastic setting. It gives every movement a sort of ritual tread, but even more, the setting can move up to provide a cave, machines can gently tug it into the simulacrum of a woman's breast, or at another time it can be lifted high to form a wall against which Dantesque figures grope and struggle. (Barnes 1972)

  • Barnes, Clive. 1972. ‘From Madrid, Lorca’s Yerma’, The New York Times, 19 October

Yerma (Cristina Hoyos, José Carlos Plaza)

Director: Cristina Hoyos , José Carlos Plaza
Dates: 2003
Venue: Generalife Gardens
Location: Granada, Spain
Further information

This was a dance production of the play, starring the acclaimed flamenco dancer Cristina Hoyos.

Yerma (Álvaro Horcas)

Director: Álvaro Horcas
Dates: September 2010
Venue: Teatro Olimpia
Location: Villa del Río, Córdoba, Spain

Productions in English

Yerma (Ralph Flores)

Director: Ralph Flores
Based on translation: Yerma (2003) by Peter Luke
Production company: Blueprint Theatre Group
Dates: December 1989
Venue: The Firehouse
Location: Chicago, United States
Critical response

The fact that this production was performed in both Spanish and English led one reviewer to argue that it was really two productions, meaning it was hard to assess the depth of actors’ performances (Bommer 1989). Nevertheless, the same critic was impressed by the skill of the bilingual actors, noting that ‘this unique double mounting of Yerma shows an ambition and dedication rare even in Chicago theater, an insistence on losing nothing in translation (Bommer 1989).

Further information

This production was performed on alternate weekends in Spanish and English.

Yerma (Helena Kaut-Howson)

Director: Helena Kaut-Howson
Based on translation: Yerma (2005) by Pam Gems
Dates: January 2003
Venue: Royal Exchange Theatre
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
Further information

The Royal Exchange Theatre offers an educational pack for teachers here [accessed April 2011].

Yerma (Tony Adams)

Director: Tony Adams
Based on translation: Yerma (2003) by Peter Luke
Dates: from April 2007 to May 2007
Venue: Halcyon Theatre
Location: Chicago, United States
Further information

A number of production photos are available from the Halcyon Theatre website [accessed March 2011].

Yerma (Róisín McBrinn)

Director: Róisín McBrinn
Based on translation: Yerma (2011) by Ursula Rani Sarma
Dates: March 2011
Venue: Courtyard Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse
Location: Leeds, United Kingdom
Critical response

This production was successful, with the Guardian’s Alfred Hickling giving it four stars out of five. Hickling was impressed at how this version managed to be relevant to today’s audiences, noting:

While we lack any specific fertility rites in which girls line up outside a saint's grotto while the men prance round dressed as bulls, there is no shortage of women suffering the quiet agony of failing to conceive; and Ursula Rani Sarma's new version, sublimely directed by Róisín McBrinn, cuts to the heart of this all-too-common despair. (Hickling 2011)

Further information

Production shots are available on Flikr [accessed March 2011]. The action was transported from rural Spain to rural Ireland, set sometime in the 1950s.

Entry written by Gwynneth Dowling. Last updated on 6 April 2011.

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