Review: Blood Wedding

BLOOD WEDDING by Federico Garcia Lorca, translated by Langston Hughes (Modern Times/Aluna Theatre). At Buddies in Bad Times (12 Alexander)..


BLOOD WEDDING by Federico Garcia Lorca, translated by Langston Hughes (Modern Times/Aluna Theatre). At Buddies in Bad Times (12 Alexander). Runs to March 29. Pwyc-$25. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com. See listing. Rating: NNNNN

Make sure you RSVP to Blood Wedding.

This co-production between two strong indie theatre companies Modern Times and Aluna is a fantastic union that results in a passionate, primal and poetic take on a rarely performed work.

The plot of Federico Garcia Lorcas play couldnt be simpler. A Boy (Derek Kwan) from a wealthy family is engaged to a Girl (Bahareh Yaraghi) from a more modest one. But the Girl is still drawn to her jealous ex, Leonardo (Carlos Gonzalez-Vio), whos part of the family thats been feuding with the Boys for generations. As the nuptials approach, you know things will not end well.

Director Soheil Parsa takes his cue from the bold colours of the lyrical script (beautifully translated by Langston Hughes) and its strong emotions. Trevor Schwellnuss scenic design is dominated by a series of see-through screens where characters can eavesdrop and spy. An added entrance that splits the audience adds a sense of urgency. And his lighting throbs with feeling, especially in the reds and the merciless, stark whites of the moon (which itself becomes, in Lorcas universe, a vivid character). Thomas Ryder Paynes sound design, which includes songs, is haunting.

The performances are heightened but not overdone, and clearly mark out where the characters are in the plays social hierarchy.

At the top is Beatriz Pizanos imperious, proud Mother, whos still embittered by the deaths of her husband and son, and is curious about the family her remaining boys marrying into. Contrasting with her is the Girls accommodating, comic Father (Steven Bush).

Jani Lauzon makes a gossiping neighbour and a high-strung servant distinct, often providing comic relief. As the tension mounts, chorus-like scenes of farmers or children offer welcome contrast.

Kwan is solid as the upright fiance, and Sochi Fried focused and intelligent as Leonardos suspicious wife and that vengeful moon.

And Yaraghi and Gonzalez-Vio make a smouldering pair angrily drawn to each other not by rational thought or sentiment but by the animal pull of blood and lust.

One of the best and most vivid shows of 2015 so far, this shouldnt be missed.

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