This semester, directors Montse Picado and Krishna Patel bring Federico Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding to the Barron theatre. I spoke with Krishna to see what she had to say about their upcoming production.
So how are you feeling about the show at this point?
Confident. I like working with the actors, and what they’re giving to the script. It’s a difficult one to work with as it’s a translation, and they’ve done a great job of making it feel authentic and real.
Why did you choose this play?
Montse and I wanted to work together, and as she speaks Spanish that seemed like it would be helpful. I did it in high school but in retrospect felt like we could do a better job and wanted to re-explore it. There are lots of different resonances and wider implications, and we loved how relevant it is to gender politics and social roles, how much of a relevant commentary it is. Everyone, men and women, contribute to toxic gender roles, like the dominating matriarchal perspective or the stereotypical demure bride. Everyone in this play is in a box – they don’t try to help each other out, they all contribute to their entrapment and miss opportunities to help.
Could you give me an overview of the play, for those who don’t know it?
The groom has proposed to the bride – neither of the characters actually have names – and as she is coming to the age where she’d be considered an old maid, she accepts, to please her father and the village. Closer to the wedding, she realises she’s still in love with an old flame, and he tries to convince her not to get married. They broke up because of their toxic relationship, but she’s still in love with them. It’s ambiguous because they’re two bad choices- you want her to follow her heart, but the man she loves is an arsehole, and the groom is so nice but she doesn’t love him.
What have the cast been like to work with?
They’ll try everything and have fun with it. We had a plan but not a blow by blow, more “Let’s try this, if it doesn’t work we’ll move on.” They were taught flamenco and gave it all they had. We did some Suzuki, which is very based in discipline, and they embraced it. We’ve done some theatre of cruelty- they’re willing to try anything.
What’s been the most difficult part of the process?
The script is so multi-layered, so making sure people are bringing everything out from that. We’ve explored the idea of silence and what can be conveyed through this. We did this even in the audition process, not giving people sides and focusing on facial expression. Nailing all those layers of meaning is a challenge- it’s a difficult play to understand, to make it comprehensible as well as meaningful. We’ve tried to research deeply into Spanish culture. Having a Spanish speaker means she can highlight the intricacies of the text. We’ve tried to make the text more relatable; there are culturally niche things in there, we’ve tried to keep them accurate but make the meaning clear to the audience.
What are you most looking forward to seeing the audience reaction to?
Probably the cast shrieking – it’s very much a visual spectacle, so we want to see what can be said visually, to make it look interesting and surprise people with this play. We want people to come out saying that they weren’t expecting that, and to feel like they’ve been inspired.
So what are those visuals for the play like?
The staging is simple and sparse. The budget mostly went on costumes. We’ve tried to keep it period appropriate- we have a traditional, 1930s Andalusian black wedding dress being made from scratch. The clothing is all Andalusia and flamenco inspired, with the bride’s father and family all in very bright colours. At the moment it’s hard for the actors to feel more flirty, or whatever it is, without the costumes to play with, so we’re excited to put them into the acting.
What do you hope the audience will take away?
I hope they’ll have a wild time, even if they don’t enjoy it. Being bored is the last thing we want.
Blood Wedding goes up in the Barron Theatre on the 24th and 25th November at 7:30pm. Tickets are £5 and can be reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org