Blood Wedding at Omnibus Theatre
Federico Garcìa Lorca’s timeless and passionate classic is reworked in George Richmond-Scott’s intriguing contemporary adaptation Blood Wedding. About emotional expression and facing the battles of life head-on, the narrative presents a clash between love and societal pressures, charting human struggles for freedom versus tyranny and the resistance to feeling trapped – here resulting in betrayal and violence.
Set in modern-day London, the piece explores arranged marriage, a love triangle between two men and a woman (Racheal Ofori), and the anguish of the latter as family mores separate her from her beloved Leo (Ash Rizi), who has a wife of his own (Miztli Rose Neville). The protagonist, however, is betrothed to her family’s choice (Federico Trujillo), to whom she is indifferent. In desperation the bride and her lover run away together, leading to a traumatic chain of events.
Although Lorca’s traditional Blood Wedding was created in the style of Greek tragedy combined with traditional Spanish theatre, Richmond-Scott has chosen to focus on its primary ethnicity, tying into timely issues of immigration, adapting to new cultures and national diversity. In this highly physical, reality-based version of the work the characters are strongly connected to their Hispanic roots, bringing forth a depth and authenticity to the play and highlighting the primary author’s national origin.
That one of the central figures embodies at once Leo’s mother (Maria de Lima), a beggar and Death, illustrates that Lorca clearly had strong conflicts and issues regarding his own mother. The director has chosen to spotlight the role of this interesting character.
In terms of translating this classic to today’s world, a possible criticism here is the fact that although the story’s fatalistic nature is in line with conservative Spanish attitudes at the time of its writing in 1932, such perceptions are out of place and unlikely in modern London. However, in terms of certain extreme cultural disagreements – such as, for example, Western law versus Sharia law – the idea is plausible.
Performances are outstanding: thoughtful, sensitive, heartfelt. The superb music by composer Camilla Mathias is extraordinarily evocative and beautiful. Movement (Patricia Suarez) is almost dance-like, with an expressiveness that enhances emotionality and dramatic impact. Together with themes of passion, strife and affliction is a dark humour lending a subtly philosophical tone. A remarkable accomplishment in writing and directing and a poignant, thought-provoking piece, Blood Wedding is a rare and compelling gem.
Photo: Arthur Daniel
Blood Wedding is at Omnibus Theatre from 4th September until 23rd September 2018. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.