Smouldering passion and poetry sang from the Ardhowen stage last Friday (February 9) night as Enniskillen Amateur Dramatic Society (EADS) gave a full-blooded performance of Frederico Garcia Lorca’s, ‘Blood Wedding’.

The classic tale of love, land and lust certainly has echoes for our own country, and the themes of blood as pedigree, and death, swim through this most lyrical of Lorca’s plays.

The unnamed Bride elopes from her wedding reception with her married former suitor, sparking a pursuit led by the bridegroom, bound by honour, resulting in an inevitable and tragic outcome, leaving grieving women in its wake.

Indeed, there are elements of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in the tragic tale of the Bride and Leonardo (played by Alan Donnelly), who is of the clan that killed the Groom’s father and brother.

Some of the searing dialogue between the star-crossed pair has echoes of those immortal creatures of the crags – Catherine Earnshaw and the demonic Heathcliff in ‘Wuthering Heights’.

The play is set on the sweltering plains of Andalucia in Spain in the 1930s, and opens with The Mother (Aly Finlay) oozing gravitas and grief, swathed in sorrow over her dead husband and son’s death in a bloody feud with Leonardo’s clan.

The air is thick with talk of knives as instruments of death and destruction.

Her only remaining son, the Groom (Christian Carbin) is eagerly looking forward to his nuptials, and the experienced Carbin expertly conveys a trusting innocence of the deceit that awaits under a bad moon.

Shelby Keys also gives a strong performance of the Bride, who veers from barely concealed disdain for the Groom to a tsunami of sexual tension between her and the feckless Leonardo.

There’s enough electricity here to blow the Ardhowen into the Erne.

And you could see the gleam in the eye of Victoria Johnston, as Leonardo’s spurned wife, and cousin of the Bride, when she asks the question she already knew the answer to, as in, “Where were you?” – and this was even before he eloped.

In the second act, we had a stunning piece of theatre as Deborah Fallis appeared as The Moon, the eternal muse of poets, as she thirsted for some warm, red blood to warm her ceaseless chill.

Christine Maher Irvine was a towering, malignant presence as Death/Beggar Woman, while Claire Holmes (Mother-in-law), and Padraig Connolly as the towering father of the bride, conveying his passion for the land and progeny, both impressed with credible, focused performances.

There are strong performances too from Amy Robinson as the Servant/Neighbour, David Wilkinson as a Woodcutter who is part of a Greek Chorus of sorts, while Meabh Hambly, Muirne McKeagney and Seaneen Breen played village girls, all under the able direction of Nick Hambly.

For anyone who loves poetry or even words, this powerful play has the timeless power to captivate under a full spring moon, with EADS delivering an expertly-staged production to further flesh out their already impressive repertoire.