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Spanish tragedy spells success for Harrogate School

Blood WeddingComedy, farce, and Shakespeare’s lighter works might be the staple diet for school plays but not at Harrogate Ladies’ College, where pupils took on one of the most challenging productions to be performed on the English stage.

The cast, under the tutorship of Head of Drama Michael Cook, played to a packed house when it performed ‘Blood Wedding’, the first of Federico Garcia Lorca’s trilogy of Spanish tragedies, translated by Ted Hughes.

The all-girls school successfully overcame the issue of playing the male roles by presenting them in very masculine dress with tied-back pony tails, which worked surprisingly well.

The complex dialogue was delivered virtually without a hitch during a one-and-a-half hour performance that held the audience spellbound. The subject matter – of rivalry within a family and a bride who is marrying for security but in truth loves someone else – translates as well into modern life as when it was written in the 1920’s.

The characters were brilliantly played, with special commendation reserved for Maheen Nadir, who played the devastated and angry mother of a murdered son; Annie Eves who played the bride torn between two loves; Sajoy Spickett the bridegroom; and Alice Barber as Leonardo, the third man in this tragic triangle.

Harrogate Ladies’ College’s Headmistress, Mrs Rhiannon Wilkinson, says:

When I was first told of the decision to perform ‘Blood Wedding’, I was concerned about tackling such a dark and challenging play. However, as so often happens, it exceeded my expectations and the girls’ performance was mesmerising.

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