A Memorable Play: Blood Wedding

The play that I watched for my performance report is Blood Wedding that was staged in Bilkent Theatre Hall on 29th of March 2012. It was written by Federico Garcia Lorca in 1932 and was first performed in 1933 in Madrid. Lorca (1898-1936) is a Spanish poet, playwright, painter and composer. He is accepted as one of the two most important poets of Spain. He became famous for his play Romancero Gitano. The director of Blood Wedding is Erdi Mamikoğlu. He was born in 1987 in Ankara. He is the youngest Turkish playwright and received the Sadri Alışık Youth Special Award for his achievements.
This was my first time that I went to Bilkent Theatre Hall and I found it a bit smaller than I had expected. However, the atmosphere of the saloon was warm and cheerful. It was furnished with wood and the seats were covered with navy blue fabric. The lighting was sufficient and the colour of the light that was chosen as yellow made the saloon cosy and made the stage look brighter. The places for audience to sit were divided into 3 parts: one is in front of the stage and the others were at the each side of it. The play had been performing for three days and the day I went was the first day of the performance so the interest was immense by the audience and the saloon was full.
            The stage was decorated with long tulle that was hung to the ceiling. It was the most outstanding detail of the stage and there was a present that was on the stage floor. The background of the stage was white. This was the appearance of the stage when the play began.
When the lights were turned off, a very pleasant and soft music began. It was the great harmony of violin and guitar. The two players were situated through the back of the stage. A pretty girl who was dressed in pure white was playing the violin and a boy who was dressed in black was playing the guitar. They were sitting next to each other. With accompany of the music, the actors began to appear one by one. At first, they didn’t appear on the stage but by using the two side doors of the backstage and the two side doors for the audience to enter, they walked slowly through the way, which was between the seats of the audience and the stage. It was a good idea in terms of influencing the audience. I think it gave a message that the play was realistic and the actors were inside from us. Then the ones whose parts were later went back to the backstage and the play started.
It began with the speech of the Mother that was performed by Ülkem Önal and the Bridegroom that is performed by Kaan Akın. She was wearing a long black dress. The Bridegroom’s costume was a black pant and a white shirt. In their talk, the Bridegroom wants her mother to give him a knife, which he will need in the vineyard but the Mother suddenly gets angry and starts to curse all the knives and guns. She talks about her husband and it is understood that her husband had been killed by a family named Felix. The Bridegroom wants to change the subject and asks her mother when they will go to see the family of the girl with whom he is in love. They arrange a date and the Bridegroom leaves the stage. After that, a neighbour who is willing to gossip appears and she starts to talk about the Bride with the Mother. Gamze Sönmez performs her. From their talk, it is understood that the Bride once had some relations with a man called Leonardo that is performed by Erolcan Talas from Felix family. This is the point where the Mother’s suspicions and anxieties begin about the union of her son and the Bride.
            Then the scene changes and the stage gets a bit darker. Two women who sit at the edge of the stage sing a lullaby to a baby with accompany of violin and guitar. This scene was very relaxing but was also very emotional. The lyrics of the lullaby was very sad and the two women sang feeling it deep inside from their hearts. They were Leonardo’s wife that is performed by İlknur Yakar and Leonardo’s mother-in-low that is performed by İpek Çakaloz.  When the lullaby is over, Leonardo arrives and he has an argument with the two. His mother-in-low questions him about a subject and it is apparent that he hides something. He appears as a very angry and harsh man and also behaves his wife very badly although she is affectionate to him.
After this scene the Mother and the Bridegroom take a short trip to meet with the family of the Bride that is performed by Nazlı Yalçın. Her mother is dead and she lives with her father that is performed by Özkan Akkaya. The bridegroom gives the present to the bride. However, she looks terribly unhappy. After the Mother and the Bridegroom leave, she is alone in her room with her maid that is performed by Betül Erdem. The maid wants o have a look at the present but the Bride strictly refuses it. When she tells the Bride that every night Leonardo comes to the window of her room to see her, she gets excited but tries to hide it. This scene gave the audience a clue about her unhappiness. It was not difficult to understand that she still has some feelings towards Leonardo.
When the preparations for the wedding go on, Leonardo comes and tries to persuade the Bride that they are for each other and tries to affect her. However she marries the Bridegroom but then, by making up some excuses, manages to get away from him. When she finds a proper time, she flees away with Leonardo because she cannot repress her real feelings any longer. After some time, Leonardo’s wife realizes that her husband is lost and then also the Bride’s absence is realized. Leonardo’s wife announces crying hysterically that they fled away together. Then some people go to the forest to find Leonardo and the Bride and the scene changes.
In the forest scene, the stage got darker. Two woodcutters that are performed by Ahmet Can Vargün and Melik Babur appear on the stage and begin to search for the couple and suddenly the Mood appears that is performed by Gamze Sönmez. Here, some smoke was sprayed to the stage and a mysterious atmosphere was created. The smoke caused a bit excitement among the audience. She was wearing a white big ball that represented the moon on her back and also her costume was a white jump suit that covered all her body and composed a unity with the ball. The Moon, with a hoarse voice says that he will lighten the escapees’ way and she disappears from the stage. Then Death as a beggar woman that is performed by Sezin Çırak appears. She was wearing white wings and her dress was also white. She says to the Bridegroom that she knows where the lovers are and leads him to there. They leave the stage but after some time the Death reappears and screams painfully. I think this represented the bad and inevitable end of Leonardo and the Bridegroom.
At the end of the play, the female characters that seemed sorrowful reappeared (the neighbour, Leonardo’s wife, her mother and the bridegroom’s mother) and each sat at the edge of the stage. There was a long and deep silence and then the Bride appears with blood on her bridal veil. There is an emotional talk between the Mother and her and it turns out that Leonardo and the Bridegroom kill each other.
I think the end of the play was an apparent representing of the feeling of taking revenge’s futileness and its harm to the ones who are full of that feeling. Also, in the play the role of the fate was clear. Although the two families tried to get away from the destruction, they cannot escape from it and blood kept on running out. Actually I think it was the fate that led Leonardo and the Bridegroom to take their revenge from each other and they cannot help it.  Also, in the play, only Leonardo’s having a specific name caught my attention. It may be because of her rebellious character because he was the one who was different in the play. He was not a conformist and tried to ruin the taboos and to change the fate. He couldn’t manage to do it but he proved his braveness and his different character. He was the opposite of the Bridegroom who was a very innocent and a bit naïve.
In addition, at the end of the play there were only female characters. I think this was because of their being victims in a way. They were the ones who remained to feel the sorrow of the dead ones and although they had no guilt, they had to experience this dreadful fate. The play was reflecting the women’s condition in the society when it was written. In terms of these, I think it was a realistic play and its plot was selected from real life.
In the play, the smoky scene and the ending scene of the play were the ones that affected me most. The smoky scene affected and surprised me because I wasn’t expecting such an effect and it was a well-planned detail in terms of adding credibility and excitement to the play. The audience’s reaction was also the same as mine. As to the ending scene, I was affected by it because it was very emotional and the actors were really successful in that scene. Their intonation and mimics were suited to the theme very well. I specifically was amazed by the performance of the Bride. Also, the Bride and Leonardo’s escape was the peak point of excitement in the play. There was a certain type of chaos at the stage and this also was reflected to the audience and there was a curiosity in everyone’s mind if the lovers would be caught or not. Mostly the mood of the play was sad and anxious but in the wedding scene there was happiness. There were some girls that spread flowers to the stage. I think this was because of the concept of a wedding ceremony and was related to its nature.
The costumes and make up were quite appropriate in the play. Generally everyone was wearing black clothes. This represented the sorrow of their souls and the mood of the play. The Moon’s costume was a very creative idea and it could not be better than that. However, the Death’s costume might have been a bit different because at first I thought her as an angel. Also, as far as I heard the audience’s reaction, most people thought the same. The make up was also effective because I realized that some quantity of powder was used on the Bride’s father’s and on Leonardo’s mother-in-low’s hair to give the aging effect and it was a good idea. In addition, there was not much make up on the female characters’ faces to make them look pale.
The stage design was interesting. The tulle effect was different because at the beginning of the play it seemed just as a décor on the stage but then it turned into the bridal veil of the Bride. At the end of the play, the tulle formed a cross on the stage. I thought that it represented the fate’s leaving the two families helpless. They couldn’t sort out the ongoing controversy between them and the idea of taking revenge went on. Maybe there could have been more decoration for example in the forest scene or in the wedding scene but I did not really mind it and generally liked the stage design. To me, one of the most impressive components of the play was the music. The harmony of the violin and the guitar was wonderful. In the beginning of the play and in some unhappy scenes there was calmer and more melancholic type of music but in the wedding scene, which was the happiest scene of the play, there was a more energetic type of music. I liked this shift between the scenes. The lighting was also to my taste. In the forest scene and in the Moon’s appearance, the lights went dim and this created a certain type of mystery at the stage and suited well to the plot. When there was one character at the stage, the lights focused on her or him. For example; when the Death appeared, she immediately caught the audience’s attention thanks to the lighting.
To sum up, with all of it aspects, the play was very successful and well-played. It was apparent that every actor and actress worked hard and gave great importance to their roles. I am happy to having seen such a play and am proud of my department arranging such a great organization for us.

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