Lorca Double Bill

Manchester School of Theatre closed the spring season with a Lorca double bill, Doña Rosita the Spinster and Blood Wedding, performed at HOME from 2-4 March.

Yasmin Mwanza plays the lead Dona Rosita, a woman who waits for her fiancée to return from abroad and grows old alone.  It’s a play about the social norms in Spain at the time, especially for women, and the unstoppable passage of time.  Metaphors of the climate and the garden full of roses reflect Rosita’s path within some beautiful text.  As you’d expect from MST it was well acted throughout, although some of the characterisations were out of line with the themes in the play, too much distance between the serious Rosita and the self obsessed, at times giggly, visitors.  Dona Rosita herself withers without protest in front of us; hers was a wonderful portrayal of the character.

Blood Wedding is a more frequently performed play, and in many ways more complex.  Two families prepare to unite through a wedding, despite years of bitter hatred.  This is very much a play about the interrelationships between specific family members, and to what extent they are prepared to change their long held views.  Whilst individual characters were strong, especially amongst the women, the emotional relationships were not always clear; too often the tension in a situation was lost.  But the mother (Elaine McNicol) held both the text and the production together with some superb acting.  The bride was well played by Sarah Day-Smith but the play’s impact was lost through the unconvincing relationship with Leonardo; there was neither love nor lust in this relationship, and this must go down to the direction.

As always with MST productions the set was well designed, the walls ‘see through’ in certain light to evoke a ghostly otherworldly feel that I personally loved.  Costumes, sound, light were excellent as usual.  Overall, a well performed, visually stunning play, but I wasn’t convinced by some of the directing.

 

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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