Johannes Hjorth

‘Hauntingly beautiful’ are the two words I would use when describing the stellar performance of the opening night of Federico García Lorca’s Blood Wedding at the ADC Theatre. Easily one of the most enticing student-run plays I have ever seen, the cast, crew and directors of Blood Wedding were able to transport the audience back to a time when staunch traditions and blood feuds took priority within society. Interspersed with simple but spine-tingling songs and original dance, the play had an overall Tarantino-esque feel to it, which only served to enhance the surrealism ensconced within its themes and atmosphere.

Although I would personally say that there is perhaps a bit too much interpretative dance without dialogue, this does not detract from the abundance of tension and emotion on stage. The magnificent direction of Marthe de Ferrer resulted in high-brow and powerful acting on stage, which in turn brought to life an already challenging script. The exploration of issues such as old-fashioned values, the damaging effects of patriarchy and love versus revenge was enhanced by the cast and crew’s use of lighting, set and acting techniques. One theme that was continually touched upon was that of purity, and also of the double standards required of men and women within society. This was highlighted by the dastardly portrayal of Leonardo by Ben Walsh, who was able to make the only named character throughout the play a conflicted gothic protagonist.

Other than an impromptu bout of awkwardness caused by a phone ringing for too long in the audience, the tension on stage was continuously palpable. While the individual parts of the set and use of lighting were quite minimal, when brought together, an eerie and tense atmosphere was created. This effectively set the mood for what became a fast-paced drama interwoven by bouts of comic relief, most of which were brought with perfect comedic timing by Ryan Monk.

This constant emotional roller coaster is a gripping play as love, sexual tension and even murder are brought brilliantly to life by the cast and crew. Yes, it may be difficult to watch at points, but it should be even more difficult to miss.

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