This is a hard play to write about. I saw the play over a month ago, but I now just getting to the review of the play. The House of the Spirits is a play based on a novel by Isabel Allende, a second cousin of Salvador Allende Gossens, the socialist leader of Chile in the 1970's.
The story follows the Trueba family in an unnamed Latin America country (probably Chile) from the 1920's through the 1970's though the memories of Alba. The family started out poor, but were able to acquire some land, which moves them into the upper class.
Esteban, the patriarch of the family, develops into an ultra-conservative land owner, who supports the status quo, and abuses the peasants around him. He is a sexual predator to many of the women.
The son of Esteban's overseer, on the other hand, is working for socialism. He challenges the way things are in the country.
Then the military comes to power with its brutal power. Not only do they destroy the opposition through murder and rape, but they also push aside the old order. Things have changed.
The problem I have with the play is not the play itself, but with the way one actor presents his character. John Hutton played Esteban. He did not develop the character into the predator he was. For that a good play was only a fair event.