Review: Blood Wedding, Dundee Rep (Sunday Herald)

THEATRE REVIEW

Blood Wedding

DUNDEE REP

Until March 14;

then touring until April 25

Reviewed by Mark Brown

“I’m a dick”, says the Groom in David Ireland’s adaptation of Federico García Lorca’s great tragedy Blood Wedding. “You’re not a dick”, replies the Bride.

“If you are a dick”, she continues, “you’re the dick that I’ve chosen. That makes me a dick, too. So, we’ll be two dicks together.”

It is, frankly, embarrassing that such an awful piece of dialogue should find its way into any new play presented in a professional theatre in Scotland. That it should be written into a new version of Lorca’s classic tale of transgressive passion and vengeful tradition is nothing short of a travesty.

Unfortunately, the dreadful banality of the script does not come entirely as a shock. This soap opera-ish approach to play writing has been the bane of new theatre work in the UK for some considerable time.

Given the impoverishment of the language – which Ireland tries, with only limited success, to shift to a more poetic register towards the end of the play – this co-production by Dundee Rep, Derby Theatre and acclaimed inclusive company Graeae is fighting an uphill battle from the start.

Director Jenny Sealey, who directs a generally strong and diverse cast of Deaf, disabled and non-disabled actors, succeeds in her mission to improve the theatre-going experience of Deaf and blind audience members by integrating British Sign Language and audio description (as well as surtitles) into the performance.

The sad truth, however, is that, following Rona Munro’s appalling adaptation of The House Of Bernarda Alba (National Theatre of Scotland, 2009) and Jeremy Raison’s awful staging of Blood Wedding (Citizens Theatre, 2006), Scottish theatre has once again proved a very poor friend to Lorca.

For tour dates, visit: http://www.graeae.org                

This review was originally published in the Sunday Herald on March 15, 2015

© Mark Brown

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