Rugby College show is family affair

Spitfire Youth Theatre prepare for the production
Spitfire Youth Theatre prepare for the production

Students from Rugby College are staging a production of family drama The House of Bernarda Alba this week.

The play is the first production by Spitfire Youth Theatre. The company is made up of foundation degree performing arts students at the college including sisters Jamie-Jodie, Lorie-Lanie, Mirie-Marie and Nikita-Nina Shanks, as well as Megan Davies and Adele Clarke.

Guest performers Evita Butkute and Leonie Maguire, who are on the Level 3 Performing Arts course at the college, complete the cast.

The play, by Federico García Lorca, is set in the height of summer 1936 in southern Spain, during a period of mourning in which Bernarda Alba wields total control over her five daughters.

Jamie-Jodie, 25, from Kenilworth, who takes on the title role of Bernarda Alba, said: “The play is a bitter and darkly comic tragedy with tyranny, jealousy and a woman’s instinctive desire.

“There are many different things that you can take from this play – there are some similarities with what is happening in America right now, as well as the historical reality of how people lived in the 30s.”

Megan, 18, from Rugby, is playing La Poncia, Bernarda’s servant.

She said: “The play has a lot of social and political meaning that audiences can relate to now including the importance of social standing and sexism.”

Talking about the experience of acting with her sisters in a play about family, Lorie-Lanie, 21, who plays Amelia, one of Bernarda’s daughters, said: “There’s an all female cast for this play and we do draw on our own experiences as sisters - we know the dynamics that can happen in families.”

Adele, 19, from Rugby, plays Martirio, one of the five sisters. She said: “Working with the others you get used to them being sisters, so it’s not strange - we just play on it.

“Having known each other for a while and being on the course together, we all feel like a family anyway!”

The show opens tonight (Wednesday) and runs until Friday. Tickets cost £7.50 or £5 for concessions.

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