Review

Medea

Last week I went to see the phenomenal new production of Medea at the National Theatre. Directed by Carrie Cracknell, this new version of the Greek tragedy by playwright Ben Power will definitely leave you face in hands and silent. It’s fair to say my friend and I didn’t speak to each other until about 10 minutes after..

It tells the story of Medea, heartbroken and jilted by ex-husband Jason, a controlling, power-hungry man and father to their two small boys. He is set to wed a younger woman, daughter of the King. The wedding begins and we catch a glimpse through the window upstairs of the fantastically designed split level set by Tom Scutt.

Blinded by despair and hatred, Medea seeks revenge and plots an act most unimaginable, an atrocity you can barely comprehend; to kill her two sons. What unnerved me, is that it became a story not too dissimilar of what you sometimes hear in the news today.

‘Terrible things breed in broken hearts’

Helen McCrory’s Medea was sensational, dishevelled and broken, you really empathise with her pain of losing a life she once knew and about to be banished into the unknown. She wails and cries in the woodland at the back, that becomes quite eerie. Heightened also by the haunting score from Will Gregory and Alison Goldfrapp.

The Chorus of women surround her, question her and offer voice of reason as if they were a fragment of her conscience, as Medea rapidly unravels. The creepy Chorus jerk and jitter in a chilling dance as tension mounts and this powerful tragedy crescendos.

The ending of this 90 minute dark drama is definitely one I took home with me and thought about for several days after, that said, the production was brilliant and the cast outstanding that I urge everyone to go and see it. Then maybe pick a comedy after.

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