George Richmond-Scott’s reimagining of Lorca’s classic tragedy delivers a dark, contemporary London with unwavering vigour. Josh Brown was at the Omnibus Theatre for Miro.

2018 has seen a sharp rise in knife crime and stabbings throughout London. In July, the Metropolitan Police revealed a 16% increase in offences involving knives which led to warnings that the city is beginning to cultivate an “epidemic of violence”. Often a mirror to society, it’s not surprising that theatre is quick to depict the ugly side of the capital. However, it is surprising that times today should find their reflection in a script originally set in Spain and written over 85 years ago.

George Richmond-Scott’s reimagining of Lorca’s classic tragedy takes root in the heart of London’s Spanish community and is presented with unwavering vigour. Despite the modernisation, the script remains alive with Lorca’s characteristic cadences. In fact, against Christianna Mason’s grimy, urban set, there are moments when the dialogue resembles the work of a contemporary spoken word artist – a poetic, narrative rap on our social and cultural issues.

That said, the first and second halves feel disparate, the slow-moving first at odds with the surrealist dreamscape of the second. After being introduced to Bride (Rachel Ofori), her two suitors (Federico Trujillo and Ash Rizi) and the family quarrels that define the play, there is no time to hunker down before being thrust into a lurid second half. Richmond-Scott shifts Lorca’s original bizarre forest scene into a nightmarish vision of London’s streets at night. While itself a successful move, the latter part of Blood Wedding becomes an entirely different production from then on.

Blood Wedding Omnibus Theatre

Yorgos Karamalegos as Moon. Photos: Nick Arthur Daniel

Within this abstract surrealism lies a mesmerising physical performance from Moon (Yorgos Karamalegos). In partnership with movement director Patricia Suarez (her first production after graduating), Karamalegos delivers a focused, well-choreographed display that commands attention. This highlight sits among a sea of compelling performances and creative aesthetic, courtesy of Mason’s set and Daniel Balfour‘s soundscape.

Richmond-Scott’s interpretation of Blood Wedding offers much food for thought – the rise in knife crime, the marginalisation of migrant families or the timeless pangs of love. Yes, the piece is clunky in places, but ultimately the production creatively and resourcefully makes sure Lorca’s classic script resonates with the audiences of today.

 

 

★★★★☆

Blood Wedding runs at the Omnibus Theatre in Clapham until 23 September 2018. For more information and tickets, visit the website here.