Jean-René Lemoine’s acclaimed reimagining of the classic Medea story hits the UK’s shores this week with a performance of Medea, Written in Rage at Brighton’s Marlborough Theatre. The production, itself a French interpretation of Euripedes’s ancient tragedy, is translated into English, adapted and directed by Neil Bartlett.
Publicity for the production promises a “startling, contemporary” approach, casting Francois Testory’s Medea as “the ultimate outsider, a stranger filled with rage in a foreign land” in “a provocative, blood-soaked collage of performance, opera, and sexual confession.”
An intriguing prospect for even the most reverent classicist, ‘Written in Rage’ promises a go-big-or-go-home attitude to adapting the tale, daring the question: can modernising this classic ever really work?
Staged in Brighton’s wonderful Marlborough Theatre (just opposite the Pavilion), the small-scale venue suggests an intimacy all-too-hard to get across in productions of the classic tragedies, far removed as they are from our everyday world and in danger of slipping into melodramatic fantasy.
“This new Medea is an incredible mix of the ancient and the modern; one minute she is speaking pure tragic poetry, the next minute she is right down in the gutter. One minute she is a tragic heroine or operatic diva, the next she is like some Tennessee Williams heroine, all pills and alcohol,” Bartlett said to culturewhisper.com. “She has all the grandeur and rage of Greek myth, but at the same time she seems very real.”
Medea, Written in Rage will be performed at 7:30pm on the 27, 28 and 29th September at The Marlborough Theatre.
Tickets: £12 standard/£10 concessions
Featured Image: Manuel Vason