Medea

The original Greek tragedy of Medea was by Euripides, but Jean Anouilh’s 1947 version is fantastic and many thanks to the Wretched Strangers theatre company for choosing it as their first production.

Wilhelm as Medea reasoned and raged and her voice was commanding

Let’s get this straight: Medea is a bleak and bitter play. The main characters Medea and Jason are, frankly, despicable. They have history: Medea helped Jason get his hands on the golden fleece, but in doing so betrayed her family and killed her brother. For the following ten years, they were a sort of Bonnie and Clyde couple complicit in cheating, lying and stealing. However – and this is where the play picks up the action - Jason has decided to put his wild days behind him and settle down in Corinth (where he and Medea have temporary asylum) with Creusa, the daughter of the king, Creon.

Basically, Jason is dumping Medea and wants her to, well, just go away – and leave their two children with him. But where is she to go? She is an exile, unable to return to her homeland or to the other places she and Jason ravaged through together. She is an exile: “chased, beaten, scorned, without a country, without a home” as Medea’s nurse reminds her.

For this production, the stage setting was sparse. A black curtain served as a backdrop with light projections of a caravan (Medea’s current home) for the opening scenes and a fire for the closing ones. There were, then, no distractions from the speech and action.

Medea, played admirably by Camille Wilhelm, was unadorned too: plain black clothes with her hair scraped back off her face. There is nothing of the luxury she had as the daughter of a king. Wilhelm as Medea reasoned and raged and her voice was commanding, although the delivery seemed slightly rushed which depleted the tension and menace at times.

Piotr Mirowski played Jason as the smug, hypocritical chauvinist that he is. Massimo Guasti as a suited and booted King Creon, remained calm and statesmanlike but tellingly his arms were rigid at his side, his fists clenched, as Medea mocked him and bargained with him. Carole Le Clanche as the Nurse delivered a good final scene along with one of Jason’s men played by François Carpentier.

Perhaps the dramatic suspense and terror of the play was not fully realised. Overall, though, there was much to admire in this production, which stayed closely with Anouilh’s text.

Reviews by Jonna Brett

New Venture Theatre

The Father

★★★★
Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts

FK Alexander: Violence

★★★★
Werks Central

Sisterhood

★★★★
Komedia Brighton

Edinburgh Preview: Sarah Callaghan

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

The Wretched Strangers is a theatre company of professionals in the arts and sciences who trained as actors at the London School of Dramatic Art. We hail from mainland Europe and want to give an accented voice back to foreigners. Our production of Jean Anouilh's Médée revisits the Greek classic from the viewpoints of exile, terror and orientalism, and is informed by our own and visceral experience of immigration and assimilation. This project is supported by an encoreinsure.com Brighton Fringe bursary.

Most Popular See More

Come From Away

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Grease the Musical

From £20.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets