The Wife of Leonardo
The Wedding Guest
The Two Woodcutters
Blood Wedding, written at white heat (supposedly in two weeks), was first performed in 1933, when the republican government was struggling to pull Spain out of its past. Its source was a newspaper story of a fatal feud in Almeria - an acting out of the fierce conservatism of the mountain peasants. Lorca's sympathy for the passions and pain of his people was not uncritical, but the impact of this play transforms what may have been a squalid incident into the stuff of legend. Not all of Lorca's critics have been swept up by the Wagnerian aspirations of the play's celebration of love-and-death. Likewise, theatre companies can find the mixture of peasant realism and poetic formalism difficult to realise. Through James MacDonald's version of Blood Wedding, commissioned for this production, second year Drama students may be expoloring such critical discussions. More important is the exploration of theatre itself.
Peter Thomson (Programme Note)
Blood Wedding is the first major production to be mounted by Drama in the newly converted Roborough Building. (Though November saw a studio production of As You Like It and last week third year students gave five performances of a play devised for children, resulting in over four hundred pupils from local schools testing our organisational skills).
Designed by architect Vincent Harris, the Roborough was originally the University's main library. Vincent Harris was the designer of all the University's buildings prior to 1939. The Washington Singer was the first to be built, followed by the Roborough and the Mary Harris Chapel, a gift from his to the University in memory of his wife. Harris was a well-known architect in the South-West of England, among his designs are the Municipal Offices in College Green, Bristol. There is a notable similarity in all his buildings.
The recent conversion of the Roborough was an "in-house" undertaking by the University's own Works Division. The principle changes include the erection of a suspended stage lighting grid and acoustic ceiling, the provision of a stage-lighting and sound control box and blackout blinds on all windows. New toilets and cloakroom facilities have also been installed. The sound system has been transferred from the old Washington Singer Drama Studio, as have the luminaires. A new computer-controlled lighting system has been installed which provides 72 2kW dimmers into 140 separate outlets.