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The Unquiet Grave of Garcia Lorca
We do learn however about the British complicity in fostering Franco's government to keep Spain from joining with Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Germany. We hear about the British Secret Service direct part in airlifting Franco from Morocco to Spain, for his coup d'etat, in the company of two beautiful peroxide blonde women to make them look like rich playboys rather than political leader and supporter.
I am not sure whether this true but in 2009 an Irish banker (Peter Dineen) and his wife (Julia Tarnoky) discover in the garden of a holiday home in Granada Spain, the skeleton of a man shot at the base of his spine and keep it secret. The assumption is that it is where Lorca was buried because of the part of his body that was shot because he was a "maricon".
The best scenes are those between Lorca (Damien Hasson) and his recently identified, surviving lover Juan Ramirez de Lucas whom we meet as a young man (Matthew Bentley) and again in old age (John Atterbury). Both Juans act particularly well. At one point we think that we are witnessing a row between young Juan and Federico but they are in fact reading one of Lorca's plays.
The night I saw, Julia Tarnoky had performing issues. Her acting was so overly mannered that I asked myself, "Why? Was it excruciating first night nerves?" I even mused that she might have been on a sabotage mission to revenge all those actors who had received bruising reviews from Nicholas de Jongh when he was the theatre critic of the Evening Standard. She was slightly better after the interval when some of the over playing could be attributed to playing her part as the ghost of a famous Spanish actress come back to cushion Lorca's imminent demise and obviously she had been told to calm her hands down and so was firmly clasping her long skirt with both hands for much of this act. I have since watched her beautiful rendition of Howard Barker's poems that I can only speculate that someone must have told her to put more emphasis, more animation into her playing and knocked her confidence.
With many switches of scene it was too dark to read the theatre programme scene headings and although British wartime music delineated switches from Spain to London and Spanish classical guitar marked us back in Spain, the actual scene changes seemed clumsy. There are diluted sub-themes as a gay journalist and theatre critic learns to relate to Harry, his (possibly bisexual) actor grandfather and those of Maria Pineda the dead Spanish actress but these are not developed.
A play full of sad moments.
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
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