Archive for April 2015

Cruella in a Mantilla?: Bernarda Alba at FPCT Needs Some Rethinking

In the end, Lorca’s rebellion against an ethos which says no to so much human feeling and sexual passion, which gives such veto power to unthinking conventionality and religious diktat, states a timeless theme. That does not mean that every aspect of Lorca’s articulation of that rebelliousness is equally timeless He may have had one foot in Brechtian agitprop, according to the conventions of which Bernarda could be a two-dimensional villain, Cruella de Vil in a mantilla. That dated kind of oversimplification is the most important thing a modern production must rescue Lorca and the play from. Bernarda too is a victim, whether Lorca fully understood it or not himself.

David: An (Un)Original Sinner

You say tomayto and I say tomahto. You say Original Sin, I say human cussedness. In terms of results, at least, if not of causes, we’re talking about the same thing. We humans tend to screw up a lot.

Admirable Disloyalty

I do not suggest it is ever a facile choice to make, deciding between one’s ideals and one’s nation. Even when a nation has behaved very badly, that nation may still possess such great value as the guarantor of things we cherish that we may find it is worthy of our loyalty notwithstanding. But the causes that the old American Bolsheviks stood for (succor for the destitute, redress to racial inequality, the struggle against fascism) might legitimately weigh heavier in the balance of a fair-minded person.