Theatre Collection took on a huge challenge staging Garcia
Lorca’s dark and melodramatic tragedy. The
result is something quite beautiful.
A mother who isn’t over the murder of her husband and one of her sons faces losing her last offspring to a woman in marriage. Her previous experiences make her anxious, but she knows she must let her son grow up and start his own family. The bride herself is having cold feet. She loves her fiancé, but her instincts are telling her she isn’t ready for marriage. Her old fiancé Leonardo enters, and she finds herself inexplicably drawn towards him, despite his unsuitability, aggressiveness and dangerous nature.
What follows is a lyrical examination of lust and betrayal. The acting is reserved but passionate with dialogue filled with imagery. In contrast to this Christian Hogas underplays the outcast Leonardo with menacing monotone. He clearly stands out as the alternative to the world onstage and this attracts the Bride to him.
Tom Idelson has worked previously as a choreographer, and this is clear in his directing style. The characters slide around the stage with precision and some scenes, such as the wedding, are choreographed beautifully. Characters clap and dance giving the play a rhythm at its heart. The plot moves quickly; the audience are drawn in.
There is a slight collision of accents onstage. Scottish women end up talking to European men with Brazilian maids in the background. This is only a problem because the show tries so hard to be “Spanish” in its style and this discrepancy jars. The audience are able to suspend their disbelief here but sometimes one is dragged out of the Spanish soundscape so eloquently created by Andrea Black’s continual guitar accompaniment.
However, this is a brave and successful production of a difficult text. It drives us to the core of animalism and humanity. The result is pacey, passionate and moving.