Blood Wedding, Traverse, Review

Rating
2
Show details
Company
Dundee Rep Ensemble, Derby Theatre and Graeae
Production
Federico García Lorca (writer), David Ireland (adapter), Jenny Sealey (director), Lisa Sangster (design), Ian Scott (lighting designer), Phillip Pinsky (music), Mark Smith (choreography) Tim Reid (video designer), Dundee Rep Production staff (set, costumes & props), Viktoria Begg (photographer)
Performers
Federico García Lorca (writer), David Ireland (adapter), Jenny Sealey (director), Lisa Sangster (design), Ian Scott (lighting designer), Phillip Pinsky (music), Mark Smith (choreography) Tim Reid (video designer), Dundee Rep Production staff (set, costumes & props), Viktoria Begg (photographer)
Running time
140mins

A new look at Lorca.
Olivia (Amy Conachan) and Edward (Ricci McLeod) are on the eve of their wedding but a shadow hangs over events. Olivia has been having a passionate affair with her best friend’s husband Leonardo (Miles Mitchell), whose uncle was the murderer of Edward’s father and brother. Edward’s still grieving mother Agnes (EJ Raymond) is bitterly against the wedding and when the ongoing affair is exposed incites vengeful violence that results in inevitable tragedy.
So far we are in the footsteps of Lorca’s original deeply rooted Andalusian tragedy but into this David Ireland has placed, in the words of director Jenny Sealy, “… a modern day soap opera…” So far so good but what that audience gets is a shoehorning of important issues such as race and sexual orientation into Lorca’s classic work without managing to add their own poignancy. Instead the new innovative sounding spin comes with clunky dialogue and the banal trappings and standoffs of soap scripts. The result is cumbersome and clumsy with little sense of either reality or poetry.
The play starts with a slow inhabiting of stage and a bit of limbering up with the sound of musicians tuning up in the background. Broken bricks hold broken words like a two dimensional jigsaw on the set of a giant wedding invite above which surtitles appear for the deaf. Physical actions are read out by various cast members in turn at side stage for the blind. There is a great sense of sharing, participation and inclusivity throughout from the nine strong cast and both set and costumes are nicely themed with lots of so called ‘blood’ red involved.
The original elements of murder, honour, revenge and deceit are all present but the script’s prosaicness gives it the air of a clichéd trashy novel. It is full of sexual references yet managed to seem utterly sexless and passionless, just as the finale’s tragic double killing seemed strangely sanitised in this over long production.
That ambitious laudable principles of such inclusive “total theatre” celebrating diversity should be so disappointing is in itself a tragedy. The able cast deserves better.

Start date 8 Apr 2015
End date 11 Apr 2015
Matinee Thurs 9 & Sat 11 Apr, 2.30pm Full price £16 / Standard concession £13 / Other concessions £8
Age recommend 14+
All performances include a creative combination of BSL interpretation, captioning and audio description.