Medea, Almeida Theatre, London. October 2015.
After a surprisingly enjoyable Bakkhai and a throughly disappointing Oresteia I really wasn't sure what to expect with my third Greek play of the year, and this was possibly the best way to go in.
This was a retelling of the play with a very feminist slant which while being quite a good play I really am unlikely to have gone to see it without the title.
I am an oddity, I like Greek drama - I like seeing Greek drama as it was written (and yes that does include in the original language). I like the plots, the style and the language and not one of these elements was really present in this play.
However I didn't hate it, I liked the nods to the original, for example, as in the original, Medea's husband has left her for a younger woman but in this version rather than actually being royal she is just her daddy's princess. Other bits were funny and although not as good as in the Bakkai I liked what the chorus were trying to do.
However as a modern play about a woman breaking down after her husband has left her... it all felt a little bit like I'd seen or heard it before. It was competent and I didn't hate it but if that was a person's introduction to classical Greek drama they are in for a big shock when they see a more authentic version.
Also unlike the poster intimates, and early images led me to believe, this was a remarkably violence free interpretation of the text and I think that it lost out because of that, I know that the idea was you don't have to use violence to hurt people but that is what the original is about.