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  • Writer's pictureAlex First

Medea: Out of the Mouths of Babes (Theatre Works) - 60 minutes

A superb, creative staging of the Greek tragedy Medea, knowledge of the story before entering the theatre would be a distinct advantage.

To say I was excited by what I saw is an understatement. I was ecstatic.

Medea: Out of the Mouths of Babes is one of the most remarkable productions I have had the privilege of reviewing.

Euripides’ (480 to 406 BC) writing has been contemporised … and how!

The plot remains the same, but the way it has been packaged is bold, brazen and relevant to modern pop culture.

As a result, it is readily relatable for Generation Z.

Photos by Morgan Roberts

Medea is a play about revenge.

Jason (Paolo Bartolomei) is looking to improve his station in life by abandoning his “barbarian” wife and marrying a princess.

Medea (Willow Sizer) is distraught.

Jason has left her and their two children to be with Glauce, the daughter of Creon (Emily Joy) – the king of the Greek city of Corinth – where the play is set.

Fearing Medea, Creon banishes her and the kids from the city, but they are given one day’s grace.

That gives Medea ample opportunity to plot and execute a truly dastardly deed.

The modern treatment of Medea was informed by children and what the troupe has done as a result is astonishing.

We learn the story of what has gone down via a present-day, trashy, tabloid television news show.

The hosts call upon the services of a self-promoting clairvoyant to provide insight.

Each of the three actors play multiple roles and all shine through their audaciousness.

Writers Chris Beckey, director Steven Mitchell Wright and Ian Johnson, along with Belle Hansen, Enya Daly and the ensemble have helped create a new masterwork.

That would not have been possible without the efforts of the video artist, designers and sound technician, each of whom make invaluable contributions.

The staging is phenomenal (the stage and production manager is Holly Anderson).

Eleven video screens of different sizes form a semi-circle around a rotating stage.

Onto them is projected evocative imagery, ranging from dollops of colour to children’s drawings.

The set is given “a Roman look” by virtue of four columns – two on either side of the stage – and a large “rocky” wall centrepiece, atop of which sits a giant video screen.

Add in a real-time video feed and pre-recorded material showing Medea and Jason exchanging marriage vows and you have a phenomenal multidisciplinary offering.

The costuming – funky, showy and colourful – stands out for all the right reasons.

All up, the enormous effort which has clearly gone into creating Medea: Out of the Mouths of Babes pays off handsomely.

I sat gobsmacked.

This is unmissable, sizzling theatre, the likes of which is scarce.

It is playing at Theatre Works until 20th August, 2022.


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