The Drama department at St Mary’s has a long history of creating cutting edge contemporary work and so, we have returned to the classics for this year’s major school production.
The story of Medea remains as relevant today as ever and it is hard to imagine how ahead of his time Euripides was when he wrote the play in 431 BC.
Crimes of passion are regular headlines in today’s world. Finding a play to suit an all-girls school is difficult but when Ben Power retranslated this classic for the National Theatre production in 2014, he managed to bring the play alive again for modern audiences.
By setting it in a post-apocalyptic world (Mad Max Fury Road) and a refugee camp where women are displaced, disenfranchised and struggle to find their voices and be heard, Medea’s difficulties are exacerbated. She is rejected by Jason for a younger and more beautiful woman, banished by Creon and judged by her chorus – she resorts to a most incomprehensible crime.
The chorus has always been a fascinating part of Greek Theatre – a bridge between the audience and the actors, voicing what we as audience feel and commenting on the action. The chorus represents all of us.
The Greeks would never show violence on stage and the Messenger must relive the story for us - pictures that we can only imagine and this heightens the devastation. As our photographer Christo Doherty said the night he came to take photographs – “Wow, but these ancient Greeks wrote powerful plays, hey?”
We hope that “power” is conveyed to you all in our production.