Medea

  • Theatre
  • Drama
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Yiannis Katsaris
'Medea'

Theatre Lab Company distil Euripides’s tragedy down to one sustained wail of agony, as shrill and unappealing as a factory whistle. From Medea’s first offstage howl to Jason’s last lament, this production condemns the text to an artfully decorated monotony of pain.

Anastasia Revi directs the play as a series of stage pictures – some brilliant, some bobbins – that gradually form and disperse in a vocabulary of basic physical theatre. Live accompaniment from world music act Daemonia Nymphe is a haunting diversion, but weakly integrated with the chorus of Corinthian women.

Tobias Deacon (Jason) is the only performer who brings any oxygen to proceedings, swaggering across the stage in full ‘Game of Thrones’ mode. Marlene Kaminsky forces such intensity into her mannered portrayal of Medea that the part all but bursts at the seams and collapses into pantomime villainy.

Yes, a text like Medea demands intensity, and Revi and her company’s vision is commendably pure and purposeful, but it also requires nuance and humanity if it’s to live as anything other than a migraine-inducing museum piece.

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