THEATRE REVIEW: Yerma ★★★★★
National Theatre Live Encore
Tuesday 19th September 2017
Yerma is a tale about a woman, Her (Billie Piper), who along with her husband John (Brendan Cowell) decide that now in their thirties they would like to try for a baby, but as the duration of the story unfolds, this soon becomes less likely even with them trying many methods including yoga and IVF. This is Simon Stone's interpretation of the Federico Garcia Lorca masterpiece, or how I would justice exactly what I saw unfold on at The Young Vic Theatre.
This production truly is breathtaking from start to finish. Separated into around seven chapters with many sub headings that are boldly shown to the audience, the emotional transitions from every character is so clearly stated due to the sheer brilliance from the whole company. Piper and Cowell are a force to be reckoned with when their chemistry on stage is pushed within their characters right to the end of their harrowing relationship; we watch around 12 years pass within the entirety of the production and see these characters grow with each other, and it really all becomes so real as we invest so much in the performances from the two main leads.
This production of yerma has been staged in traverse, with audience watching either side looking into a glass cased container, almost feeling like we are analysing, or as you could argue as the tale proceeds, intruding on the lives that are being thrown at us from the stage, and I use the term ‘thrown’ strongly as this is a production that doesn't allow itself a breath. Lizzie Clachan’s visionary design is impeccable and brings to life a world both familiar but at times so far away from our own. The sound design also from Stefan Gregory also feels like journey within itself; so soft to begin with but then turning itself upside down and slowly deteriorating as the production decends with ear-deafening tones.
Overall, not only is Yerma a visual masterpiece to behold, but is also a testament to of an incredible creative team putting together a production like no other - truly breathtaking in every sense of the word!