Any piece by Federico Garcia Lorca is a challenge for any production company and Blood Wedding is no exception. However, when it is done well Lorca’s descriptive, poetic language creates a beautiful theatrical experience. 

OnSetProductions have certainly accepted the challenge.

Utilising the entire space of Burdall’s Yard the production begins with a march through the foyer, the audience are then beckoned by Death through to the first expositional section. The audience stand and watch as The Bridegroom and The Bridegroom’s Mother discuss matters of death – setting up the morbid theme that runs throughout the production. The Groom is off to meet and marry The Bride today, but all his mother can think about is bringing up bad blood.

The audience is then led through to the main space. The set of which would not look out of place in a Tim Burton movie; at one end three white sheets hang down and on the other an old armchair and phonograph sit. 

Hanging over all of this is ripped netting lit by a mix of red and white light – not only depicting the heat of the day but also depicting the theme of anger and blood.  We are then introduced to Leonardo and Leonardo’s Wife, as well as The Bride herself. It soon becomes clear that something is not right between Leonardo and The Bride – but will it affect the wedding? Or anything else for that matter?

OnSet have chosen to do a very stylistic and expressionistic version, which I think works perfectly. They have The Moon and Death wandering in-between the action onstage before they begin to get involved in the action in the second act. Considering that these parts are non-human they are performed with perfect clarity by Gena Goldfield and Alex Winterbourne. The other members of the cast perform with energy and focus throughout the production. They use Lorcas wonderful language with great understanding to take the audience on a journey from start to finish. 

Bronte Hazell gives an outstanding performance as The Mother, who despite moving through emotions of hate, love and anger still manages to remain poised and elegant.  

Anishka Klass has been perfectly casted as the ethereal yet passionate bride – and her relationships with Leonardo and The Bridegroom are intense and real

This is a stunning version of a classic piece of Spanish theatre. Audiences who enjoy poetry, tension and stylistic performances will love this performance and it is an experience not to be missed.

Charlotte Claydon