Nastazja Domaradzka

Review: YERMA at The Young Vic

Yerma - Young Vic Following his successful take on Ibsen’s THE WILD DUCK, the ground-breaking director Simon Stone returns to London this summer. Reinventing Lorca’s classic YERMA at THE YOUNG VIC the Australian theatre maker puts a huge emphasis on modernising the piece and by doing so he creates a breath-taking production which will leave many emotionally shattered.

In Stone’s adaptation the titular YERMA (outstanding Billie Piper) is simply known as Her. She is the every woman of the 21st century. She has a fulfilling career, a newly purchased property and a happy relationship with John (mesmerising Brendan Cowell). There is only one thing that she needs in order to make her life complete; a baby. As Her embarks on a journey of trying to become a mother her world begins to slowly crumble away as there is nothing that will stop the heroine of YERMA from fulfilling her need.

Without a doubt Billie Piper as Her delivers what could be easily branded as a career defining performance. Her emotional journey throughout the piece is both hypnotizing and uncomfortable to watch. She is supported by an incredible cast, especially Brendan Cowell as her partner John, who perfectly portrays the struggle and insecurities of modern successful men.

Billie Piper as Her delivers what could be easily branded as a career defining performance

This production of YERMA is essentially a 100 minute collection of scenes which are divided into chapters. At only 31 Stone already possesses a gift for creating powerful and intimate moments on stage. The perspex box designed by Lizzie Clachan, in which the whole action of the play takes place, not only creates a feeling of suffocation but also makes the audience feel as if we were eavesdropping on the most private moments of someone’s life.

A moving, complex piece that will leave audiences breathless

Simon Stone’s approach towards his reimagining of the classics is an unconventional one and there is always a slight feeling of danger around his work. Not afraid of pushing boundaries and changing the way we view classics, Stone makes YERMA into an unforgettable and devastating experience. However, whilst in his production of THE WILD DUCK the young director managed to preserve the essence of Ibsen’s writing, The Young Vic’s YERMA feels more like a piece of new writing as opposed to being inspired by Lorca. Still Simon Stone’s YERMA is a moving, complex piece that will leave audiences breathless.