BBC Radio 3: The Sunday Play
Broadcast: Sunday 20th May 2001 @ 6:30 p.m.
Fiona Shaw stars in and directs Deborah Warner's acclaimed production of Euripides's two-and-a-half-thousand-year-old tragedy of
betrayal and vengeance. Spurned by her lover Jason, Medea plans a cruel revenge. The terrifying outcome of his rejection is brought
into sharp contemporary focus in this startling new production of this classic tragedy. It is a play of raw brutality but explains what would
make a woman kill her children. It actually epitomizes all our fears and our horrors, the one act that Medea commits is something that
terrifies us all.
Fiona Shaw's electrifying central performance captures all the emotions and ambiguities of this witty and intelligent woman. She
presents 'Medea' as neither mad nor monstrous, but as a witty and intelligent woman who has been pushed to her very limit.
What is important of this version of 'Medea' is how it captured for a contemparay audience, the raw brutality but explained what would
make a woman kill her children. It is a startling tragedy: it is a tale of betrayal and vengeance and, although 2,500 years old, it actually
epitomizes all our fears and our horrors. That one act that Medea commits is something that terrifies us all.
Translated by Kenneth McLeish and Frederic Raphael from Euripides' 431 B.C. play, "Medea". Deborah Warner's 2001 stage version,
first performed at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin in May 2000 and then an expanded version of this play was produced in London's West
End (from the January to April 2001 at Queen's Theatre, London). It is from the London production that this adaption for radio is from, with
the original London cast, to launch Radio 3's Greek Drama Season.
With Fiona Shaw [Medea], Jonathan Cake [Jason], Janny Galloway [Nurse], Jonathan Slinger [Tutor], Struan Rodger [Kreon], Leo
Wringer [Aegeus], Robert Hines [Messenger], Mikey Press and Jack Richards [children], Gabrielle Lloyd, Moya Brady, Gillian Hanna,
Emma Dewhurst, Kate Fleetwood, Joyce Henderson and Pauline Lynch [Chorus].
Music by Mel Shaw, with Rhonwyn Hayes [singer].
Directed by Fiona Shaw
Re-broadcast on BBC Radio 3: The Sunday Play on Sunday 29th December 2002 @ 6:30 p.m. and BBC7: 7 Drama on Saturday 28th
August 2004 @ 12:30 p.m.
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