Incorporating physical theatre into Lorca’s thrilling play, George Richmond-Scott’s modern adaptation of Blood Wedding is a lively and engrossing performance at the Omnibus Theatre.
Federico García Lorca’s Blood Wedding is transported to the new setting of contemporary London in this new production at the Omnibus Theatre. George Richmond-Scott’s adaptation retains the tension and power of the original story of an ill-fated young bride and groom, played by Racheal Ofori and Federico Trujillo, who are met with the only obstacle that might break them: a possessive past lover of the bride and her lingering attraction to him.
Richmond-Scott’s dynamic staging and effective changes to the dialogue ensure it’s a lively and intelligent contemporary portrayal. Interestingly, the themes of Lorca’s Blood Wedding already lend themselves to this choice of setting, particularly the cyclical nature of violence and a focus on knives as deadly weapons. It goes without saying that their relevance is felt today. On the other hand, one awkward scene where the mother tells her son (without any irony) how to sleep with his wife on their wedding night in a pretty degrading way, left me wishing the adaptation had gone just a bit further in its changes.
What we do get are some truly funny lines, largely delivered by Maria de Lima in the role of the critical and superstitious mother of the groom. Gradually though, it falls to her to make us believe in the exaggerated misgivings the mother has of the events to come. In doing so, she expertly leads Blood Wedding from those initial moments of comedy to the beginnings of a darker act.
A Spanish guitar performance in the interval turns the audience into wedding guests before a thrilling scene by de Lima has everyone ushered back into the theatre. The bulk of the second act shifts to physical theatre, showing death in the form of a homeless woman and the moon conspiring together to the fatal ending. Yorgos Karamalegos’ transformation is the starkest – from playing one of the few level-headed characters in the first act to his second role as the moon with terrifically eerie speech and movement. It teeters on ‘nearly too strange’ but the confidence of the actors, and convinction of their performances, means you stick with it.
For the most part, Blood Wedding achieves a fitting modernisation of Lorca’s play. Safe to say, it’s got a fantastic story, highly capable cast and the right amount of effects to make it an engrossing performance throughout.