Winner of a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival that year, When Five Years Pass, was given its British Premiere by the NSTC in a new translation by Gwynne Edwards. Lorca’s surrealist masterpiece was presented with a company from The Royal Academy of Music, Ballet Rambert and various drama schools and presented with vocal and instrumental underscoring in a strongly physical and imagistic style.
Written between 1930 and 1931, the play reflects Lorca’s interest in surrealism - Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali were two of his closest friends in the twenties - but draws too on influences as diverse as film, ballet, painting and ‘Commedia Dell Arte.’
Stylistically very different from the well-known rural tragedies, the play expresses the highly personal concerns of the whole of Lorca’s theatre: love, frustration, passing of time and of death. When Five Years Pass is one of Lorca’s most ambitious, startling and original plays.
‘Enigmatic, powerfully beautiful…haunting.’
‘Splendidly intense and atmospheric.’
Times Education Supplement
‘Played in the round with precision and haunting passion.’
‘A satisfying and uplifting production and a company to watch.’
‘Beautifully produced…an extremely accomplished cast…taxing and aesthetically intense.’
‘A must for any admirer of the genius of Lorca.’
‘Fluid, assured and beautifully lit.’
The translation is superb…moving done…a show to treasure.’
‘If the public face of Spain is frills, fans and synthetic flamenco then the other private, provoking one is that which seeks to exteriorise its soul, as in the work of Dali, Bunuel and most often today the poet Federico Garcia Lorca. When Five Years Pass is one of Lorca's early plays written when was 32, in the brooding years of submerged struggles which preceded the Civil War.
In their remarkable British premiere at the Festival Club the National Student Theatre Company turned an awkward room into the fragmented, inner world of a young man whose intensity is brilliant and palpable. Friends and phantoms intermingle so that there is no distinction between reality and-fantasy. We are drawn into a constantly shifting present which re-plays itself through the past. It is startling to realise this is not a later work as it seems to foretell Lorca's own fate.
The success of this youthful production lies in its evocation of a psyche in flux. He grapples with the unresolvable dark side of passing time, memory, a love bound up with dreams and sexuality in which the masculine-feminine divide could not be bridged.
None of the power of Lorca's poetry is lost in Gwynne Edwards' translation, and the talented company bring exactly the appropriate vitality and energy to bear to realise the enigmatic core of the play without falling into the trap of believing all can be explained or resolved. Authoritatively directed by Robert Delamere and Maria Delgado with music and dance which eeriely integrate the whole, this is a Fringe gem which will stay into flickering in the mind.’