1:30 p.m., Apr. 29)
ENCORE! Theatre production explores the dark side of love
By Fred Sherwin
Cooper plays the groom's mother in the ENCORE! Theatre Company's performance of
Frederico Lorca's 'Blood Wedding'. Fred Sherwin/Photo
Frank Sinatra who once sung that love is a many splendoured thing. Too bad Spanish
playwright Frederico Lorca didn't live long enough to hear it.
his famous play "Blood Wedding", performed by the ENCORE! Theatre Company
Friday night, Lorca examines the more destructive side of love.
central figure in the play is Leonardo, a brash strong-willed young man who is
the antithesis of Latin machismo.
was once engaged to a young woman simply referred to in the play as "the
bride". She is about to marry another young man when Leonardo starts paying
secret visits to her window.
groom's family and Leonardo's family have a long history together. One of Leonardo's
relatives killed the groom's brother and father in a fight. When the groom's mother
discovers the connection between his future bride and Leonardo she is instantly
suspicious of her.
breaking up with the bride-to-be, Leonardo married another woman and has an infant
daughter by her and a child on the way.
distant relatives of the bride (from what I could understand they're all second
cousins in some way), Leonardo and his wife are invited to the wedding.
the first few scenes leading up to the occasion, the bride-to-be gives subtle
hints that the flame she once carried for Leonardo is still smouldering.
the audience never gets to see the actual wedding ceremony, we do get to see the
married couple at the reception afterwards.
wife all of a sudden seems distant and agitated. When the groom tries to embrace
her from behind, she recoils at his touch. Complaining of a headache she retires
to her bedroom, but when the groom goes to check on her, she's not there. It's
left up to Leonardo's wife to announce to the wedding party that the pair have
fled together on horseback.
much lamentation on the part of his forlorn mother, the jilted groom sets off
to find the two star-crossed lovers and exact his revenge on them.
made off into the night, the couple seeks refuge in a nearby forest where the
girl starts to have second thoughts. After confessing that neither had fallen
out of love with the other they are discovered by the groom who is guided in his
search by an old lady who represents death and a blood lusting moon.
the struggle that follows, both young men are killed, leaving the grieving mother
with no more sons. Overcome with guilt, the bride returns to the village, her
wedding dress stained with the blood of Leonardo and her dearly departed husband,
and offers the mother her life to avenge the death of her son.
the play ends, the mother raises the knife in the air and the stage lights quickly
fade to black.
I was leaving the theatre, I couldn't help but think of another quote about love,
this one by Sir Walter Scott -- "Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first
we practice to deceive."
Wedding" is the mother of all tangled webs and the ENCORE! troupe has delivered
yet another captivating performance.
Nesrallah was brilliant as the fiery Leonardo and Kathleen Shore was superb as
the bride. Other excellent performances were delivered by Patrick Villeneuve as
the groom and Stefanie Cooper as the groom's mother. The rest of the principle
cast was rounded out by Cassy Olsthoorn as the maid, Nick Dubus as the bride's
father, Sarah Benfield as the Leonardo's wife, Karine Longpré as the mother-in-law,
and Teri James as the mother-in-law's neighbour and death.
The company also included David Bernstein, Kayla Carman, Stacey Fleury and A.J.
Jimmo who played the wedding guests.
of the highlights of the production for me was the soundtrack which included music
by Radiohead, The Subways, The Devlins and Harvey Danger. The choice of music
was superb and set the tone for the entire play.
to first time director Patrick Gauthier and stage manager Kimberly Hand who did
an excellent job overseeing the multiple scene changes.
Wedding" continues today at the Orléans Town Theatre with performances
at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students. The Orléans
Theatre is located at 255 Centrum Blvd. inside the Orléans Client Service
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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