Passions ignited

Former Mail editor Jeff Jones caught the latest CTC production Blood Wedding last weekend and shared the follow review for our readers.
Earlier in the year, Castlemaine Theatre Company (CTC) ventured into the classics when the company performed Shakespeare for the first time by taking on the wonderful wedding comedy As You Like it.
The wedding theme continues with CTC’s latest production, Blood Wedding by Federico Garcia Lorca, but as the title of this classic play suggests, this is no comedy. It’s the total opposite – a dark, ominous love story full of apparent loyalty and commitment that twists and writhes into deception, mistrust and tragedy.
As the story goes, a hardworking young man is preparing to marry the love of his life. The groom is the only surviving member of a family that has been involved in a feud with the Felixes, and his mother is still overcome with a mixture of rage and fear that her only surviving son will meet the same fate.
But unbeknown to the groom, the bride has been seeing someone else. She is still madly in love with Leonardo (of the Felix family), who is married and the father of a boy.
While the wedding celebration continues with singing and dancing, Leonardo rides away with the new bride. He is pursued by the groom, and the two men kill each other, thus causing the mother’s forebodings to come true.
Castlemaine Theatre Company’s spirited production features a simple but effective set, enhanced by Jon Henri Wolfe’s atmospheric lighting design which creates a sense of Spanish heat. At times the lighting is quite surreal.
Throw in an eye-catching flamenco dance solo by Kirsty MacCallum and superb flamenco guitar playing by Raziel Gutierrez the mood is perfectly set.
Director Rob Jorritsma’s passion for this play is clearly evident. From the flamenco dancing and guitar to the strong opening and final scenes, Mr Jorritsma explores the intense relationships between the characters and the symbolism which is paramount in this play.
From an acting point of view, there were several standouts including: Peter Bevin’s powerful, brooding portrayal as the torn Leonardo; Louise Osland’s performance as his jilted, pregnant wife; and, Lisa Martin, playing dual roles, as the Neighbour and Death a Beggar Woman.
Special mentions to Di Addington and Rebecca Morton for their terrific vocals and strong performances.
On the other side of the ledger, there were a few teething problems with the performance I saw on the opening weekend but these should be ironed out as the season
progresses.
Blood Wedding is playing at Castlemaine Town Hall on November 30 and December 1 at 8pm with a matinee on December 2 at 2pm.
Bookings at www.trybooking.com/YTFV

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