Three years in the making, this radical reinterpretation of Lorca’s searing tale of love, lust, prejudice, betrayal and revenge is performed by what Jenny Sealey herself describes as “a glorious, motley mix of people on stage.”
Audio description, BSL interpretation and captioning are all used in the production but the real skill here is that none of it feels like an add-on. It’s all integral to a dark, highly charged, often self-mocking drama where nothing is off limits and political correctness is hurled to the winds. “I had it in my head that she’d be ugly. Because of the wheelchair,” says the mother of the groom, a woman dogged by the past and drowning in misery.
The wedding, in David Ireland’s adaptation for Graeae, is translated to the mixed society of a modern UK city and is between Edward (Ricci McLeod), who is “maybe not black but definitely not white,” and Olivia (Amy Conachan), who has no legs. “Well, at least you saved on shoes,” says her bridesmaid, Vicky (Millie Turner). It’s a gleeful parade of wedding guests, from the garrulous Irish neighbour, Eileen, to the pompous Scots father of the bride.
The two zany female tramps who witness the inevitable tragedy in the park have some of the most delicious lines and their timing and delivery is perfect. All together, it’s a triumph – played out within the giant, fragmented picture frame of Lisa Sangster’s versatile set, splashed with scarlet and dominated by the giant letters that spell out LOVE.
March 17-28; touring to April 25. PN March 18