Bewitching blood

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In Blood Relations, the story of Lizzie Borden is told through flashbacks attempting to answer the question “Did you Lizzie? Lizzie did you?”

From a small cast of seven, Beck Lloyd (left) and Chantel Martin (right) provide the two standout performances in the drama department’s production of Blood Relations.
From a small cast of seven, Beck Lloyd (left) and Chantel Martin (right) provide the two standout performances in the drama department’s production of Blood Relations.
Photo: 
Sharon Pollock’s Blood Relations tells the story of Lizzie Borden and how she brutally murders her father (centre) and stepmother (left).
Sharon Pollock’s Blood Relations tells the story of Lizzie Borden and how she brutally murders her father (centre) and stepmother (left).
Photo: 

An axe murder will certainly keep you up at night.

With just enough discomfort and fright in Blood Relations to supply my upcoming nightmares, I won’t be able to forget the cast’s faces in a hurry.

The drama department’s production of the thrilling mystery sets the stage introducing the story of Lizzie Borden and flashes back to the brutal murders of her father and stepmother.

The psychological murder mystery had me completely enthralled from start to finish, thanks to the two lead actresses.

The story, which is set years after Borden is acquitted of her parents’ murders, retells the incident through a dialogue between Borden and her friend, and assumed lover, The Actress.

In real life, Lizzie Borden was acquitted of both her parents’ murders, but Blood Relations tells a different tale.

The spark between Chantel Martin as Lizzie Borden and Beck Lloyd as The Actress was phenomenally intriguing.

From the onset of the play, my eyes couldn’t help darting solely to those two during every ensemble and solo scene.

The strength of the duo’s partnership came from a plot point that called for the actresses to switch roles during the flashbacks — Lloyd became Borden while Martin became the Borden family maid, Bridget. The way both actresses managed to switch their roles so fluidly throughout the play was really astonishing.

One minute, I was certain Martin was frigid and heartless when she played killer Lizzie, yet, she then garnered my sympathy when she played the kind maid.

Lloyd was also fascinating in how she managed to go back and forth from murdering stepdaughter to whimsical actress.

What made the two leads the standout performances was how in sync they were.

Aided by the impressive handiwork presented in their matching bun hairstyles and similar time period clothing, the switch was made completely seamless throughout the entire performance.

The false sense of security I got when the stepmother was killed off-stage first was soon turned to absolute shock when Lloyd raises the axe above her father’s head to the sound of children’s voices singing, “Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks, when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.”

While I knew the plot of the story before I walked into the theatre, I may still undergo a few sleepless nights. But the cast of Blood Relations has made it worth it.

It just may take a while for my mind to conquer the answer to, “Did you Lizzie? Lizzie, did you?”

Suffice to say, the production of Blood Relations was so eerily frightening that I had to look over my shoulder as I was walking home.

The Queen’s drama department Blood Relations plays in the Rotunda Theatre in Theological Hall on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., and Tuesday through Thursday at 8 p.m.

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