LONDON — Each night, after performing “Yerma,” Billie Piper would face the emotional wreckage she’d caused, playing a woman driven insane by her inability to conceive a child.
“People would come over, in various states of trauma, depending on how it had affected them personally,” she said, recalling the two sold-out runs of the play, a modern version of Federico García Lorca’s 1934 tragedy adapted by Simon Stone. “Some people didn’t even really say anything, they just wanted to be close to us — they wanted to somehow physically connect.”
I certainly had a hard time leaving the Young Vic the night I saw the play, my way blocked by women in tears. And if all this sounds melodramatic, it was echoed in the visceral language British critics used to discuss Ms. Piper’s performance: “shatteringly powerful,” “earth-quaking,” “heart-rending.”