Saturday, 21 March 2015

Blood Wedding - Derby Theatre

Olivia and Edward are getting married - hopefully. Olivia, though, still has feelings for her ex, Leonardo, and to complicate things further, Leonardo's uncle was responsible for the deaths of Edward's father and brother. Edward's mother Agnes is not one to let bygones be bygones but thinks that a real man would be seeking revenge, not planning on asking the 'enemy' along to the wedding! What could possibly go wrong for the happy couple?

Wednesday night, we were back at Derby Theatre for the second time in a week! Monday evening's visit was to a one-woman show in the Studio; this time we were back upstairs in the main theatre to see a co-production between Derby Theatre, Graeae theatre and Dundee Rep of a new adaptation of Lorca's Blood Wedding.
This turned out to be a surprising performance in a couple of ways - at first because of  the seamless way in which disabled actors were integrated into the cast. This isn't a play about disability, like say Children of a Lesser God, but one in which some of the characters just happen, coincidentally, to be disabled, as any of our family and friends might be. It's unusual but after a minute or so I found myself ignoring the disability and just concentrating on the acting and developing plot.

The greater, longer-lasting surprise was to discover that Lorca could be funny! I'm not certain but I think I've only read his plays before and not actually seen them performed, and I've always imagined them as tales of doom and death, full of passion and fire, but not big on light-hearted comedy. This adaptation by David Ireland brought out a lot of humour - some, though not all, of which must have been there in the original; sometimes it's just the way a certain line is said that makes the difference between a serious moment and a comic one. Tragedy still stalks the wedding though, almost personified in Agnes who dresses in her mourning clothes even for this joyous occasion!

All in all another excellent evening of entertainment from Derby Theatre - enjoyable and thought-provoking!

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