I had the pleasure of watching the opening night of Yerma performed by third year acting students as part of their degree.
Written by Frederico Garcia Lorca and adapted by H. Tolson, acting lecturer at UCLan, Yerma is the story of a mother longing for a child.
The role of Yerma is shared throughout the run and on opening night Ellen Mitchell held the role of Yerma. The execution of the character was poignant and beautiful with an excellent display of emotion.
Performed in St. Peter’s Arts Centre, the staging and minimal set design worked well, complimented by the lighting.
I particularly enjoyed the group of women, which portray different attitudes to motherhood and female friendships. Often holding the sparsely comedic elements to Yerma, this did not come across as over bearing or misplaced and was a brief break from a heavy performance.
Although heavily dominated by a female cast, the male characters did not feel out of place nor stand out too much. John Saxton was particularly good at playing the part of a deliberately emotionless and bitter Juan, the husband of Yerma.
Never before have I been so moved by a performance, to the extent that as I write this two hours after the performance finished, I’m still on the verge of tears.
From start to finish I was engaged in the performance and would have quite happily watch a third act of the play. I urge anyone reading this to watch this moving performance. The students in Yerma are some of the best at UCLan and will be the future of theatre.
Yerma is being performed now until Saturday, both evening and matinee. Tickets can be booked online or on the door from £5 for students and £8 for general public.
The BA (Hons) Acting third year performances are split into three plays; Yerma, Pentecost and Our Country’s Good. The next performance, Pentecost is being performed in St. Peter’s Art’s Centre in February.