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Fringe 2010: Medea

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courtesy of ‘erin m’

I’m reviewing eight plays over eight days for the 2010 Capital Fringe Festival, in collaboration with DC Theatre Scene. Get your button and join me!

If you want to know why Greek tragedy is still vital to modern theater, go see paperStrangers Performance Group’s adaptation of Medea. Striking use of movement and multimedia combine to bring very intense moments of madness to life. Director Michael Burke has a fascinating vision, unified throughout all the major design elements he also helmed – lighting, video, sound and costumes – creating a sometimes strident but brutally beautiful work, like Medea herself.

“A woman’s likely to get emotional when her husband marries again,” understates Jason (of the Argonauts, if you are keeping mythological score). He owes a huge debt to Medea, who murdered her own brother and many others to assist Jason in his quest for the Golden Fleece. She bears him two children, and expects to reign as his queen despite her barbarian background. But love is a luxury for heroes – he puts her aside for a more royal bride, and more insults to follow, with the bride’s father wanting her banished.

This is where we meet them, at the moment the ultimate bridezilla is dumped in her swan feathered bridal gown, her voiceless screams of rage fracturing the space, a creepily twisted chorus shuffling in to reveal her inner turmoil. Continue reading