Centuries of love stories have taught us that a passionate affair can break with any traditions, no matter how strict these are and Blood Wedding is not the exception. Written by Spanish playwright Federico García Lorca it tells the story of a marriage filled with a sense of duty rather than excitement and seen through the eyes of unnamed characters who could be any of us.
Even though the performance calls for deep emotions, several times these come out as over the top.
As the Groom proudly prepares the last details of his wedding, his widowed Mother is far from pleased. She reproaches his forthcoming departure as she is soon to be left alone: her husband and younger son were murdered by the Felix family and now his eldest son is leaving. Meanwhile, we discover the Bride is not so keen on the marriage either. When her former lover, the volatile Leonardo Felix, makes an appearance at the wedding, it is clear that this wedding is far from simple.
The performance, delivered by the young cast of St Edward's School, is aided by the fantastic production. For instance, the scenery is minimal, but it uses lights to create the mood changes that Lorca emphasized so much in his script. Light pinks evoke naiveté, cold blues announce death. Another outstanding detail is the musical adaptation of the poetry in the script. The amazing voice of Lucia Azzi sings a lullaby that achieves a tragic and a touching effect, increasing our sense of horror.
On the acting side the play struggles at times. Even though the performance calls for deep emotions, several times these come out as over the top. In the end, their repetitiveness only manages to lose the interest of the audience and diminishes the credibility of the characters. That said, some characters undoubtedly stand out thanks to their freshness. Most notable is Aimee Mowhat-Helling in the role of the Mother, bringing to life a vicious character but equally capable of showing her fragile side.
There's so much complexity and expectation related to Lorca's work that it's easy to go amiss. However, I applaud the effort of a young cast who have successfully brought together the elements of traditional theatre, combined them with excellent visual and musical experiments and still managed to stir our emotions with a well told story. Blood Wedding is a homage to its author and it is definitely most suited for those acquainted with Lorca's work.