In this show, you will empathise with a child killer. A bold promise from TwentySomething theatre company when they stage
Well-written and only suffers from lack of attention to detail rather than incompetence.
This actress is not a stereotypical Medea with her simpering Morningside spin, but then, she isn’t supposed to be. She is undeniably talented, but despite her interesting differences, she still fails in many ways to provide the necessary amount of ruthless strength to Euripides’ original anti-heroine in this particular role. If a re-telling of Medea needs anything to be familiar, it must surely be her incandescentrage, spurred on by the Erinyes, the Greek Furies of classical tragedy. While our Medea offers moments of fiery disposition, they are not executed with the certainty required for a coherent character development; important when re-writing one of the most famed women in literature. Her constant edges into submissive quietness punctuated with loud outbursts of ‘You don’t understand’ to the unsuspecting audience in the front row convey a petulant Medea who would seemingly be unwilling to kill a fly, let alone her own two children.
It does seem odd to spend an hour’s worth of theatre with an almost completely static actress, when moments of rhetorical beauty may have benefitted from a more interactive performance; either from the set, the space, or costume. The mirrors are outward facing and the piece loses much of the sincerity as the sweaty-faced, shuffling audience catch their own eye in the mirrors. The mirrors themselves aren’t interacted with, either; the actresses’ odd turn to gaze into her soul at a particularly dark bit of self-realisation is not enough to stimulate the eloquent words spoken. The protagonist also sports a masculine set of clothes, which is not explored or developed coherently. While there could be a thousand valid reasons for why this choice was active, we are denied an explanation.
The actress has an exceedingly difficult challenge in this uprooted portrayal of Medea, and although the piece has moments of inconsistencies it is well-written and only suffers from lack of attention to detail rather than incompetence. With variance of movement and justified semiotics, this piece would be a thought provoking insight into the psyche of an unusual mother.