Thursday, 24 October 2013

Blood Wedding

Courtyard Theatre, London


Written by Federico Garcia Lorca
Translation by Tanya Ronder
Directed by Bronagh Lagan

Cassidy Janson

Lorca's Blood Wedding is a classic 20th century tragedy. Drawing upon the primal influences of the moon, the importance of the land and the spirituality of water and sketched out across a framework of love, despair and passionately tragic revenge, its poetry should harrow and destroy an audience. Bronagh Lagan's treatment of Tanya Ronder's translation sadly blunts the stark beauty of Lorca's verse.

In a cast of twelve, only three actors deliver engaging performances. Miles Yekinni, on stage for much of the single-act's 90 minute duration, stalks the characters as Death, frequently checking a pocket watch to indicate the looming, pre-destined bloody climax. Cassidy Janson, as a family servant, is an actor who only knows how to be excellent and her presence adds value to each of her scenes. Tamarin Payne's Moon, perhaps an over-excitable young girl for too much of the play's early movements, shows a beautiful balletic grace in a sweetly staged dance with Death. 

But that's it for the talent. Lynsey Beauchamp's grieving Mother hacks her way through text that should slice the audience open with her pain, trying too hard and lacking a natural air that is to be expected of a good professional performer. As the Bride, torn between the cravings of her heart for the already married Leonardo and the dutiful wife she knows she must be to her Groom, Anna Bamberger, (who also co-produces, an ominous sign) is lacklustre and wooden. And as for the story's wedding sequence, what should be an opportunity for a flamboyant and extravagant Latin dance routine is squandered. Maybe Lagan should have hired a choreographer, for whilst her wedding dance bore some recognisably Spanish touches, it was poorly planned and sloppily drilled.

Aria Entertainment who co-produce under the veritable human dynamo of Katy Lipson should get it better than this. Perhaps they need to focus more on the quality of their productions rather than the quantity?

Runs until 16th November 2013

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