Unusual romance in ‘Blood Wedding’
The School of Theatre and Dance has produced an intense reconstruction of dramatist Frederico Garcia Lorca’s 1932 Spanish tragedy, preserving his original text while also incorporating Lorca’s observations and comments.
“We’ve created a new way of looking at ‘Blood Wedding,’” said theatre professor Keith Byron Kirk, director, in a UH release. “We are adding an introduction that looks at the playwright himself and his other works as a way of examining the reality surrounding ‘Blood Wedding.’”
Early on, the audience is asked to remember that this play was written in the midst of an uprising in Spain. The Great Depression was negatively affecting the economy and sufficiently polarizing the Spanish government, which officially declared martial law. Though the soldiers swore loyalty to the republic, citizens felt suppressed. The country began to divide, and it quickly launched into a civil war.
The raw violence depicted in “Blood Wedding,” the betrayal and the family feuds all perfectly narrate the tragic tale of 1930s Spain. The play suggests, however, that these deceptions and indecencies are predominately the result of human nature — an inescapable force at work.
Though the added scenes about the ill-fated playwright aided in providing a further insight on the work’s political commentary, it was at the cost of the plot’s fluidity in movement. The action of the play seemed to take longer than necessary to initiate, and the narrator’s involvement in the play took attention away from the other characters on stage.
“His role is observational at times, and at other times, he incites the action through his own gaze,” Kirk said.
This only causes confusion. To a viewer with no background information or introduction to the play, a question rises about why Lorca is there. It doesn’t always make sense. In the play, Lorca (Brendan Lara) only takes the limelight from where it should be — on the three talents: the mother, played by Kiara Feliciano; Mucama, played by Precious Merenu; and the percussionist on the woodblock.
Barring the first scene, this play is interesting and thought-provoking, but it’s not quite the piece of art you’d take your girlfriend to see, gentlemen. There’s heartache and pain present throughout the work with not so much as a moment to breathe in between.
Not many tears will be shed, but a guaranteed stunned silence will fall with the curtain. “Blood Wedding” will be performed again at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Jose Quintero Theatre. Tickets are $10 for students.
The School of Theatre and Dance’s next performance will be “Brick Wall,” beginning Nov. 15, about three stand-up comedians in an Atlantic City casino. For more information, visit uh.edu/class/theatre-and-dance.