BLOOD WEDDING – DIONYSUS THEATRE – review by Jill Page

Blood Wedding is a passionate tragedy written by Federico Garcia Lorca, who was a Spanish poet, playwright and theatre director, who was executed by nationalist forces in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War. The play is presented by Dionysus Theatre at McClelland College Performing Arts Centre – Karingal. Lorca’s play has been translated by Michael Dewell and Carmen Zapata.

Dionysus Theatre takes its name from Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, pleasure and fertility. Greek theatre is a form from ancient Greece and Asia Minor. It was an extension of the ancient rites in honour of Dionysus and influenced the theatre of ancient Rome and the Renaissance.

This excellent production is directed expertly by Emma Sproule. Emma has been involved in theatre and performance all her life. She completed a Bachelor of Performing Arts in Theatre and has directed for Shoe String Theatre Company, Beaumaris Theatre and established Dionysus Theatre in 2012.

Blood Wedding is a story that examines the roles people play in a society bound by traditional culture and physical and emotional isolation. Some of the themes include love, passion, perceived honour, vengeance, abandonment, and family blood ties. The Director’s Notes from the program state “ One key theme that I have focussed on”… “is the isolation and limitation of being a woman” The Bride’s only choice is to marry a good man. “ I wanted to explore the choices of the Bride…”

Emma has skilfully and cleverly woven aspects of Greek theatre, such as the chorus into the “ theatre in the round setting” The actors as townspeople are often in the background, as if in the shadows, watching the developments, but still part of the performance.

The basic costumes are effectively used, including each actor wearing a large piece of red fabric as a sash, mantilla, shawl and scarf, thus connecting with the play’s Spanish heritage.

Music and chanting are included, adding a dramatic dimension, heightening the tension, and the brilliant choreographed movement gives a nod to the play’s Spanish roots.

The ensemble of seven actors play over twenty roles, expertly moving from one character to the next. All the actors are extremely well rehearsed and focussed. The experienced cast includes Lenora Locatelli, Kirsten Chapman, Kate Jackson, Amber Budd, Matt Dutchman, Lachlan Casey-Roleff and Jett Thomas.

Stage Manager Beck Benson, Movement Dramaturg and Coach Lucy Angell, Costume Designer Emma Sproule, Lighting Designer Peter Amesbury, Specialist Prop Designer and Creator Jesse Thomas and all the production team have combined with the cast to stage a excellent production which captures and holds the audiences’ attention throughout.

Performance Season: Until October 25 at 8pm.

Venue: McClelland Theatre Performing Arts Centre – Karingal.

Bookings: www.trybooking.com/FQPG