Medea at the National Theatre

Medea – a Greek tragedy with music by Goldfrapp

“Terrible things breed in broken hearts”.

Medea is a Greek tragedy by Euripides and this latest production at the National Theatre has a new text by Ben Powers and a soundtrack by the Goldfrapp duo Will Gregory and Alison Goldfrapp.

In Greek mythology Medea is the grand-daughter of the sun god Helios and priestess of Hekata, the underworld goddess associated with sorcery and witchcraft. Medea falls in love with Jason during his quest for the Golden Fleece and later becomes his wife giving him two sons. It is Medea who helps him steal the Golden Fleece, committing heinous crimes herself to aid his quest. Yet Medea’s love is not all what it seems, it is a consequence of the meddling of the gods, Eros (the god of love) was bribed by Hera to shoot Medea with one of his arrows so she would fall in love with Jason, as part of Hera’s plan to avenge herself on her old enemy Pelias.

The play is set in Corinth some time after Jason‘s quest for the Golden Fleece and Medea has been abandoned by Jason for another woman. He is to marry the daughter of the King of Corinth and as he starts a new life, she faces banishment. The play centres around Medea’s desires for revenge against her unfaithful husband. We watch as Medea struggles with her inner emotions of passion, love and vengeance. Helen McCrory is compelling as Medea, potent in her portrayal of Medea’s powerful and violent character, both loving and destructive. The set is terrific and the music ethereal. However, the use of dance and movement by the chorus, the women of Corinth, lessens the overall impact of the play. It is not clear why they dance; it is possibly to imply “other worldliness” and Medea’s links with the underworld and sorcery. That said dance and movement is in vogue at the moment and over the past few years the National Theatre has strived to make itself more exciting and increase its appeal to a wider audience and to this end it is good to see them pushing the boundaries and introducing new ideas.

Medea is currently showing the National Theatre in London until the 04th September, click here or go to:  http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk for tickets and information. From September the play will be broadcast to selected cinemas for more information click here: or go to:  www.ntlive.com

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