Lorca’s great Spanish tragedy tells of sexual repression and rebellion in a house of mourning, dominated by a monstrous matriarch who condemns her five daughters to eight years of mourning.

Theirs is a house of frustration with brooding tension between them. The absence of men from the house and the love three daughters have for the same man leads to a tragic finale.

By updating the play to current times, director Mark Wilson draws a parallel between the rebellion within the household and the revolution of the Arab Spring outside – each seeking escape from repression. It made for an interesting production although the staging was not always conducive to the best delivery of lines. Words were often muted and lost.

The production was full of good performances, notably from Elika Ashoori as Adela, full of passion and rebellious frustration, and from Kitty Underhill as Martirio, her rival in love. Underhill beautifully conveyed the passion simmering beneath the surface until it finally erupts. Touches of comedy came from Amuche Iroegbulem as La Poncia.

Laureen Varnfield’s performance as Bernarda disappointed. Rather than establish the tyrannical mother through a chilling, austere and dignified authority, she allowed too much hysterical neurosis into the part.