The House of Bernarda Alba | Almeida Theatre, London

The House of Bernarda Alba

by Federico García Lorca
in a new version by Emily Mann
Thu 19 Jan 2012 - Sat 10 Mar 2012

Following her husband’s funeral, powerful matriarch Bernarda Alba decrees to her five daughters that the household will enter a period
of eight years mourning. The only one it seems will escape this fate is the eldest daughter, Angustias, who is already betrothed to the
village’s most eligible bachelor.

In the strict confines of the house, jealousy and suppressed sexuality rise to the surface. As Bernarda’s oppression of her daughters increases it is more than the girls’ liberty that is in danger.

With Shohreh Aghdashloo leading the cast as Bernarda Alba, one of Lorca’s best-known works is relocated to rural Iran.

Bijan Sheibani has previously directed work at theatres including the Royal Court, Soho Theatre and Young Vic. He is an Associate Director at the National Theatre, where his productions include Our Class and The Kitchen.

Running time is approximately 1 hour 35 minutes. There will be no interval. Latecomers may not be admitted; likewise if you leave the auditorium during the performance you may not be able to return.

Photo D'Andre Michael

Major Sponsor

  • Shohreh Aghdashloo (Bernarda Alba). Photo Johan PerssonShohreh Aghdashloo (Bernarda Alba). Photo Johan Persson
  • Mia Soteriou (A Maid). Photo Johan PerssonMia Soteriou (A Maid). Photo Johan Persson
  • Amanda Hale (Elmira), Seline Hizli (Anahita), Sarah Solemani (Maryam) and Pandora Colin (Asieh). Photo Johan PerssonAmanda Hale (Elmira), Seline Hizli (Anahita), Sarah Solemani (Maryam) and Pandora Colin (Asieh). Photo Johan Persson
  • Shohreh Aghdashloo (Bernarda Alba). Photo Johan PerssonShohreh Aghdashloo (Bernarda Alba). Photo Johan Persson
  • Shohreh Aghdashloo (Bernarda Alba). Photo Johan PerssonShohreh Aghdashloo (Bernarda Alba). Photo Johan Persson
  • Shohreh Aghdashloo (Bernarda Alba). Photo Johan PerssonShohreh Aghdashloo (Bernarda Alba). Photo Johan Persson

Watch our trailer for a window into the tyrannous world of The House of Bernarda Alba.


"This was a stunningly effective performance on every level. Unmissable!"

"Powerful, haunting production with all round pitch-perfect performances; Bunny Christie's marvellous set perfectly captures the corrosive, claustrophobic household. Congratulations on another triumph, Almeida Theatre."

"Superb production with a very effective updating and moving of the play to contemporary Iran"

"So impressed by Bijan Sheibani's House of Bernarda Alba, the Iranian setting works brilliantly. Shohreh Aghdashloo is so good."

"Wonderful...Loved everything about it, didn't want it to stop."

"Really fantastic performance - gripping from the beginning."

"It's great to see inspiring women on stage in this beautifully crafted, superbly acted and poignant show."

"I thought that The House of Bernarda Alba was excellent. I gave it 9/10"

"The House of Bernarda Alba's new adaptation is an interesting play brilliantly produced. Thank you for a great evening."


"It’s hard to imagine a more perfect House of Bernarda Alba"
Kate Kellaway, The Observer, 29 January 2012
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 “It is a riveting evening"
Michael Billington, The Guardian, 27 January 2012
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Libby Purves, The Times, 30 January 2012
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"The production is a marvel of carefully built-up, beautifully lit atmosphere."
Paul Taylor, The Independent, 31 January 2012
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"poetic and tactful staging…hypnotic"
Caroline McGinn, Time Out, 31 January
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Siobhan Murphy, Metro, 30 January 2012
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"Lorca’s dark Spanish tragedy is given a stifling intensity in Bijan Sheibani’s new production…The story is relocated to rural Iran, adding to its sense of other-worldliness…conjured in Bunny Christie’s epic design"
Mark Shenton, Sunday Express, 5 February 2012

"I suspect I have already seen my play of the year"
Rosamund Urwin, Evening Standard, 2 February 2012  




Shohreh Agdashloo | The House of Bernarda Alba | Almeida Theatre, London

Shohreh Aghdashloo
Bernarda Alba

Most recently Shohreh starred in the heroic role of Zahra in the film The Stoning of Soraya M, based on a true story. In 2009 she won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries for her performance in the BBC/HBO miniseries House of Saddam, in which she portrayed Saddam Hussein's wife Sajida. In 2003 she also won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film House of Sand and Fog. Off screen Shohreh realises her passion for theatre, working alongside her husband, Houshang, writing, performing, and producing Farsi language theatre for an Iranian audience through her travelling theatre group, Drama Workshop '79.

Film includes: The Nativity Story; X-Men: The Last Stand; The Lake House; The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2; American Dreamz.

Television includes: Law & Order; Grey’s Anatomy; ER; Will & Grace; 24.

Shohreh Aghdashloo is appearing with the permission of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange program between American Equity and UK Equity.

Jane Bertish | The House of Bernarda Alba | Almeida Theatre, London

Jane Bertish

Jane recently played the role of Immacolata in The Syndicate alongside Ian McKellen for the Chichester Festival Theatre. Her other more recent theatre credits include Nicholas Nickleby also for Chichester Festival Theatre, Hurts Given and Received at the Riverside Studios, A Family Affair at the Arcola Theatre and The Duchess of Malfi for West Yorkshire Playhouse. 

Television includes: Lewis; Life on Mars; The Passion; Vanity Fair; French and Saunders.

Film includes: The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone; Dance with a Stranger; Paperhouse.

Pandora Colin | The House of Bernarda Alba | Almeida Theatre, London

Pandora Colin

Pandora previously played the title role in Lorca’s Mariana Pineda at the Arcola Theatre.  Her other recent theatre credits include After The Dance and Every Good Boy Deserves Favour for the National Theatre and Betrayal for the Theatre Royal Bath.

Television includes: Black Books; Coupling; Hotel Babylon.  

Film includes: Run, Fat Boy, Run; A Bunch of AmateursMax.

Jasmina Daniel | The House of Bernarda Alba | Almeida Theatre, London

Jasmina Daniel

Jasmina is currently performing in the The Last of the Duchess alongside Sheila Hancock and Anna Chancellor at the Hampstead Theatre. Her other theatre credits include Pera Palas at the Arcola and The Chair Women at the Riverside Studios. 

Television includes: Prometheus; The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes; Emmerdale.

Film includes: The Rushing Waters of Velaba; Mr. Jericho; Tales from the Crypt.

Amanda Hale | The House of Bernarda Alba | Almeida Theatre, London

Amanda Hale

Amanda was nominated for the Evening Standard Award Most Outstanding Newcomer Award for her part in The Glass Menagerie at the Lyric Shaftesbury Avenue, West End. She has been directed by Bijan before in Our Class for the National Theatre. 

Theatre includes: Wastwater; The City (Royal Court); Elektra; After DidoKing Lear (Young Vic).

Television includes: Rev; Any Human HeartCrimson Petal and the White.  

Film includes: Bright Star; Richard is My Boyfriend.

Seline Hizli | The House of Bernarda Alba | Almeida Theatre, London

Seline Hizli

Seline graduated from RADA in 2010 and has recently been seen in Nina Raine’s production of Jumpy at the Royal Court.

Television includes: Appropriate Adult; Land Girls; Law and Order.

Sarah Solemani | The House of Bernarda Alba | Almeida Theatre, London

Sarah Solemani

Sarah is a former member of the National Youth Theatre and the Cambridge Footlights. She can currently be seen on television playing Becky opposite Russell Tovey as Steve in series two of the highly-successful BBC3 sitcom Him and Her. Her theatre credits include Pornography for the Tricycle Theatre, Burning Cars for Hampstead Theatre and The Graduate at the Gielgud Theatre.  

Television includes: Psychoville; Silent Witness; The Borgias.  

Film includes: Mrs Henderson Presents.

Mia Soteriou | The House of Bernarda Alba | Almeida Theatre, London

Mia Soteriou
A Maid

Mia's theatre credits include Yerma for West Yorkshire Playhouse, Brecht’s Turandot for Hampstead Theatre and The Odyssey for the Lyric Hammersmith and West Yorkshire Playhouse. Soteriou has also worked extensively in radio drama and has helped to compose theatre and radio scores for the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and the BBC.

Television includes: Game of Thrones; Eastenders; Holby City.
Film includes: Mamma Mia; Eastern Promises; Topsy Turvy.

Badria Timimi | The House of Bernarda Alba | Almeida Theatre, London

Badria Timimi

Badria has worked predominantly in television since graduating from Bristol Old Vic. She has played roles in The Shadow Line, The Fixer, Spooks and Eastenders as well as House of Saddam for BBC/HBO in which she performed alongside Shohreh Aghdashloo.  

Theatre includes: Birth of a Nation (Royal Court); The War Next Door (Tricycle Theatre); Tales from the Harrow Road (Soho Theatre).  

Film includes: Syriana; Pusher.

Hara Yannas | The House of Bernarda Alba | Almeida Theatre, London

Hara Yannas

Hara is currently playing the role of Junia in Britannicus at the Wilton’s Music Hall. Since graduating from LAMDA in 2009 she has been seen in a number of theatre roles including it felt empty when the heart went at first but it is alright now for Clean Break at Arcola Theatre, Pericles at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatr and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe and on tour.

To see a full cast list of those appearing as Mourners click here






Writer Federico García Lorca
Adaptor Emily Mann
Director Bijan Sheibani
Design Bunny Christie
Lighting Jon Clark
Sound Dan Jones
Casting Alastair Coomer
Movement Aline David  
Fight Director Kate Waters
Dialect Coach Penny Dyer
Assistant Director Monica Bofill

Federico García Lorca

Federico García Lorca is regarded as one of Spain’s most treasured writers, establishing popularity in his home country when he became director of La Barraca, a touring theatre company founded by the new Republican government in 1932 as a student outreach project. During this time Lorca wrote his now most prominent plays, The House of Bernarda Alba, Blood Wedding (which was staged at the Almeida Theatre in 2005 starring Gael Garcia Bernal) and Yerma, all exploring the social conventions of rural Spanish society. In his early years Lorca developed significant relationships with leading members of Spain’s avant-garde, including Salvador Dali and Luis Buñuel, publishing poetry collections such as Canciones (Songs) and Romancero Gitano (Gypsy Ballads). In 1936, Francisco Franco's military insurrection led to the Civil War in Spain. When rebel troops occupied Granada, Lorca went into hiding at the home of a friend. He was found and arrested on 16 August, two days later he was executed.

Emily Mann

Emily is Artistic Director of the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, United States. In 1994 under Emily’s lead the McCarter Theatre was awarded the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Most recently, she directed the world premiere of Edward Albee’s Me, Myself & I and the world premiere of Sarah Treem’s The How and the Why. Emily has also written a number of successful plays, including Execution of Justice, Still Life (receiving 6 Obie Awards) and her latest play Mrs Packard, which was the recipient of the 2007 Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award. Emily’s translations include versions of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard and The Seagull all of which she has directed. This season Emily is scheduled to direct the world premieres of Phaedra Backwards by Marina Carr and The Convert by Danai Gurira at the McCarter Theatre and A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway. She is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Princeton University.

Bijan Sheibani

Bijan is an Associate Director at the National Theatre where his production of Arnold Wesker’s The Kitchen is currently running. Other productions at the National Theatre include Greenland and Our Class, for which he was nominated for Best Director at the 2010 Olivier Awards. His production of Gone Too Far! at the Royal Court won the 2008 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre. He was awarded the James Menzies-Kitchin Memorial Trust Award for Young Directors in 2003 and the John S Cohen Bursary at the National Theatre Studio from April 2004 – April 2005. He was Artistic Director of ATC from 2007 - 2010.

Theatre includes: Moonlight (Donmar Warehouse); The Typist (Sky Arts/ATC); Eurydice; The Brothers Size (ATC / Young Vic Theatre); Ghosts Or Those Who Return (ATC / Arcola Theatre); Tarantula In Petrol Blue (Aldeburgh); Other Hands; Flush (Soho Theatre); Party Time / One For The Road (BAC); Have I None (Southwark Playhouse).

Bunny Christie  

For the National Theatre productions include: The Cherry Orchard; Greenland; Men Should Weep; The White Guard; Our Class; Mrs Affleck; Women of Troy; Philistines; The Life of Galileo; The President of an Empty Room; A Streetcar Named Desire (Olivier Award); Dealer’s Choice; Fix Up; Elmina’s Kitchen (also filmed by the BBC and transferred to the Garrick Theatre); Baby Doll (Evening Standard Award for Best Stage Designer).

Other theatre includes: Moonlight; Dimetos; The Family Reunion; After Miss Julie (Donmar Warehouse); Haunted Child; Kin (Royal Court); Fool for Love (Apollo Theatre); The Postman Always Rings Twice (West Yorkshire Playhouse / West End); Dance of Death I and II (The Royal Dramaten Theatre, Stockholm); As You Like It (Shakespeare’s Globe / Tokyo Globe).

Opera includes: Brief Encounter; Tosca (Houston Grand Opera).

Film work includes: Swansong.

Future projects: The Comedy of Errors (National Theatre); Private Lives (West End).

Jon Clark

Theatre includes: A Woman Killed With Kindness; Greenland; Beauty and the Beast; Hamlet; The Cat in the Hat; Pains of Youth; Our Class; Women of Troy (co-designed) (National Theatre); The Homecoming; King Lear; A Winter’s Tale; Merchant of Venice (RSC); Moonlight; Polar Bears (Donmar); Red Bud; Aunt Dan and Lemon; The Pride; Gone Too Far (Royal Court); How Much is Your Iron?; The Jewish Wife; Been So Long (also Edinburgh / Latitude Festival) (Young Vic); The Soldier’s Soldier’s Tale (Old Vic); Into The Woods (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Painkiller (Belfast, Lyric); The Little Dog Laughed; Three Days of Rain; The Lover; The Collection; Pinter’s People; Dickens Unplugged (West End); Spyski!; The Birthday Party (Lyric Hammersmith); Silence and Water (Filter Project / RSC / Lyric Hammersmith).

Dance includes: Pleasure’s Progress (ROH2 / tour); Cheek To Cheek (London Coliseum); Clara / Howl; Libera Me; Between The Clock and the Bed (Bern Ballett); Lay Me Down Safe; Tenderhook; Sorry For The Missiles! (Scottish Dance).

Opera includes: The Return of Ulysses (English National Opera); Recital I; Down By The Greenwood Side; Into The Little Hill; Street Scene; Seven Angels; The Lion’s Head (Opera Group).

Dan Jones

For the Almeida: The Knot of the Heart; Through a Glass Darkly

Theatre includes: Ivan and the Dogs (ATC / Soho Theatre); Greenland; England (National Theatre); Kursk; War Music; The Watery Part of the World; Going Dark (Sound&Fury); A Prayer for My Daughter (Young Vic); Fall (RSC / Traverse); Slippage (Rambert Dance Company); Othello; The Turn of the Screw; Uncle Vanya (Bristol Old Vic); Peter Pan; Happy Days; A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Dundee Rep); Coriolanus; The Changeling; The Taming of the Shrew; Julius Caesar; The Tempest; Uncle Vanya (Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory). 

Film includes: Max; Shadow of the Vampire; Manolete; Tomorrow La Scala; Four Last Songs; Twockers

Television includes: Any Human Heart; Criminal Justice; Dead Set; David Attenborough’s Darwin and the Tree of Life; Sahara; The Spectre of Hope; Witness; Real Lives; The Spying Game; Wildlife on One; The Ghosts of Rwanda; The Natural World; David Attenborough’s Life of Mammals; Horizon; The Iron Duke.   

Radio includes: Between the Ears

Audio artwork and installations include: Suburban Counterpoint: Music for Seven Ice Cream Vans (LIFT / NNF10); Sky Orchestra (Fierce Festival / RSC Complete Works Festival / Sydney Festival / international tour); Dream Director (ICA / Arnolfini / tour); Listening Posts (permanent installation Cork Harbour); Paradise Omeros (Julian Isaac, Tate Modern). Dan has also produced string arrangements for Massive Attack and Alpha / Jarvis Cocker.  

Dan co-directed Kursk at The Young Vic for Sound&Fury for which he is co-artistic director. 

Alastair Coomer

Alastair is the Deputy Head of Casting at the National Theatre.

Theatre includes: One Man Two Guvnors (Adelphi); Death and the Maiden (Harold Pinter); Juno and the Paycock (Abbey Theatre / National Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing (Wyndhams); War Horse (New London); The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time; Detroit; She Stoops to Conquer; Collaborators; The Kitchen; One Man Two Guvnors; The Cherry Orchard; Rocket to the Moon; Season’s Greetings; Men Should Weep; Hamlet; Earthquakes in London; Danton’s Death; After the Dance; Women Beware Women; Really Old Like 45; Our Class; The Power of Yes; England People Very Nice; Harper Regan; The Revenger’s Tragedy; War Horse; St Joan; Chatroom / Citizenship (National Theatre).

Film includes: Wall; Cubs (nominated for BAFTA Best Short Film).


Penny Dyer

For the Almeida: Reasons To Be Pretty; A Delicate Balance; Becky Shaw; Rope; Parlour Song; In a Dark Dark House; Nocturne; The Last Days of Judas Iscariot; Cloud Nine; Awake and Sing!; Big White Fog; There Came a Gypsy Riding; Tom and Viv; An Earthly Paradise; The Late Henry Moss; ID; The Mercy Seat; Camera Obscura; The Shape of Things.

Theatre includes: Absent Friends (Pinter); Saved (Lyric Hammersmith); Death and The Maiden (Pinter); Inadmissable Evidence; Anna Christie; Spelling Bee; Passion; Serenading Louie; A Streetcar Named Desire (Donmar Warehouse); The Faith Machine; Chicken Soup With Barley; Clybourne Park; Tusk,Tusk; Wig Out!; The Pride; (Royal Court); Blood and Gifts (National Theatre); Flare Path; All My Sons; Legally Blonde; The Little Dog Laughed; Spring Awakening; A View from the Bridge; Shadowlands; Boeing, Boeing (West End); Noughts and Crosses; The Crucible (RSC); Piaf; Frost/Nixon (Donmar West End).

Television includes: Endeavour; Little Cracker; TitanicThe Café; The Slap; Downton Abbey; Any Human Heart; Small Island; Margaret; A Short Stay in Switzerland; The Curse of Steptoe; Sincerely Yours; Fantabuloso; The Deal; Blackpool; Pierrepoint.

Film includes: My Week With Marilyn; Wreckers; Tamara Drewe; Special Relationship; Nowhere Boy; The Queen; Cheri; The Damned United; Frost/Nixon; The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas; Infamous; Dirty Pretty Things; Ladies in Lavender; The Importance of Being Earnest; Elizabeth.

Monica Bofill
Assistant Director

Monica studied Theatre Direction at the Institut del Teatre de Barcelona.

As a Director: The Polygraph (Teatre Scanner, Barcelona); Far Away (University production, Barcelona).

As an Assistant Director: El Asesor (for Sergi Calleja); Nit de Radio Dos Punt Zero (Sala FlyHard, Barcelona), Greenland (Rehearsal Room Assistant, National Theatre); Fora de Joc (also Stage Manager, Teatre Capitol / Festival Grec de Barcelona); Agost (August, Osage County); El Ball (Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, Barcelona).

As a translator: Black Snow (Teatre Ovidi Montllor, Barcelona).



Previews Thu 19 - Wed 25 January
Press Night Thu 26 January (7pm)

Evening performances 7.30pm
Saturday matinees 2.30pm from 28 January
Wednesday matinees 2.30pm on 15 & 29 February 

Running time is approximately 1 hour 35 minutes. There will be no interval.
Latecomers may not be admitted; likewise if you leave the auditorium during the performance you may not be able to return.

Happy Mondays
23 January
Talkback Mon 20 February (post performance)

Thu 23 February, 7.30pm
Audio-described Sat 3 March, 2.30pm (Touch Tour at 1pm)

£8, £16, £24, £32
See seating plan for further details

£8, £16, £22, £26

Concessions* (Jobseekers Allowance, Full-Time Students, Over 60s)
Mon – Thu evenings £16 (normal price £22 / £24)
Wed & Sat matinees £16 (any seat in the house)

Deaf and disabled patrons*
All performances £16 (any seat in the house)

Islington First* Discounted tickets if you live or work in Islington
Thu 19 - Tue 31 Jan £20 (best available)
More info

Under 30s*
Valid on all Mondays of the run £16 (best available)
More info

Young Friends of the Almeida
Happy Mondays £3
More info

Educational Group Bookings
Partner schools £12
Other UK state schools £20
Visit the Education section of our website to find out more about these and how to book

*All concessions are subject to availability and proof of eligibility must be presented when booking and collecting tickets.

Arts Council England ASP Group