The children become the protagonists in the reimagined Medea
“The story of Medea is not some distant mythic tale that bears no relationship to life today. There are too many recent stories of parents taking the lives of their own children for us to dismiss its relevance” says Anne-Louise Sarks, the playwright.
Sarks and fellow Australian Kate Mulvany have rewritten one of the darkest tragedies of the classical antiquity, Medea by Euripides. The myth of Medea has been retold in many forms throughout history, but in the rendition by Theater Basel, a Swiss theater company, the point of view has been radically shifted – the title character is no longer the focal point; instead, the children and their bedroom are placed at the centre of everything.
While locked in their room, the brothers play, squabble, and make up as they wait for their parents to stop arguing. What is remarkable about this rendition of Medea is that it is no longer about a woman who murders her children, but about children who are murdered by their mother.
This new version of the tragedy does not portray Medea as a mythological beast. Instead of a monster, she is an ordinary mother who adores her family, but who ends up making an irreversible decision after a domestic fight. In the midst of the argument, the mother checks on her children to calm them down, but it is clear that the carefree days of their childhood have come to an end. The innocent children can do nothing but wait while their parents' life and their own fate unfold offstage.
“That’s what the tragedy of Medea is really about: the parents’ decision deprives their children of their innocent lives.” says Kate Mulvany.
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Fri 9th Aug 19.00
Sat 10th Aug 14.00
Duration 1h 5min
Age recommendation 16+
Performed in German, subtitled in Finnish
The original text was composed from the following sources:
Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association; The Myth Within: Anne-Louise Sarks and Kate Mulvany’s Medea. https://pamla.org/2017/proposals/myth-within-anne-louise-sarks-and-kate-mulvany’s-medea
Theater Basel: Medea. https://www.theater-basel.ch/Schedule/Medea/oWPL4BNt/Pv4Ya/?lang=en
Text: Sanna Stenberg
Translated from Finnish: Lotta Salomaa