blood wedding

Blood Wedding by Lorca is one of the classics- written during the Spanish Civil War- inspired by a newspaper article written about a bride who ran off with her former lover on the night of her wedding- explores the perils of repressed passion. It is a steamy, sexy and violent play which exposes the dark undercurrent of desire in the face of duty/obligation.

Not much has changed since Lorca wrote it.

And that’s what gives a great play it’s endurance. The comforting/depressing truth that nothing ever changes. We still lust/yearn for/love who we can’t shouldn’t/musn’t. We still live in a society which has rules and expectations.
It’s a great play.

I went along to Cleveland Street Theatre to see what the ACTT graduates had made of this work, directed by Aarne Neeme (who’s work I have enjoyed many times including Alana Vallentine’s Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah which was on last year at The Seymour Centre).

Why go to a student production? you ask.
Why not go to a student production, I answer. After all Aren’t schools the holding pen of some of the great and ferocious minds and voices before they are thrust onto the world stage? Isn’t school for risk? Aren’t student productions just as valid as others- except they show an edge- they show potential and they provide space for ideas to be explored. Great student productions show a daring, a robustness, a cavalier attitude- a statement about risk. Not great student productions are obedient, mild, safe, rudimentary.

The cast of 8- Tiffany Stoecker, Timothy Selby, Billie-Rose Crane, Reece Vella, Sophie Richardson, Imogen Rose Carn, Kailey Higgins, Laura Peach- have produced a very clear reading of Lorca’s play. It is clear that the play itself is not something the actors themselves would choose to be in or put on- given a budget, space and choice- but that does not mean that it is a wasted opportunity for them- to stretch themselves in song, dance and a classic.

I believe that in rehearsal and in theatre- nothing is wasted. All experience is valuable- the good, the bad the ugly- and should be embraced for it’s learning. Over the next 5 nights as the production develops I hope the actors give themselves permission to enjoy the anguish of unrequited love/sexual frustration… I hope they find something about themselves that inspires them to tell stories which they love.