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Medea

Medea by Liz Lochhead after Euripides Medea
Your Price: $24.95 CDN
Author: Euripides
Adapted by: Liz Lochhead
Publisher: Nick Hern Books
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 80
Pub. Date: 2001
ISBN-10: 1854596020
ISBN-13: 9781854596024
Cast Size: 3 female, 3 male

About the Play:

Medea deals with murder, infidelity and revenge. Euripides' classic Greek tragedy, about the woman who murders her own children in revenge for her husband's infidelity, has been beautifully updated with a distinctive feminist flavour by the Scottish poet and playwright Liz Lochhead.

Medea is a play that centers on the controversial roles of males and females and how revenge can torment one's soul. It tells the story of Jason and Medea, refugees in Corinth, Greece, who cling together as they struggle to bring up their children in an alien and unsympathetic society. Jason forms a plan to better integrate himself which involves abandoning his wife and the mother of his children, in favour of Glauke, the daughter of Kreon, King of Corinth. Fearing that she plans revenge, Kreon banishes Medea. However, he grants her one more day of freedom, in the course of which Medea poisons Glauke and goes on to murder the two children she has had with Jason. Medea although written many centuries ago, presents potent themes that are relevant to the 21st century.

Liz Lochhead's adaptive translation of Medea was commissioned and first performed by Theatre Babel at The Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow, in 2000. The production went on to tour nationally, as well as visiting the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in both 2000 and 2001, where it played to critical and audience acclaim. It was taken abroad and played in Toronto in 2002 at the Premiere Dance Theatre. This edition of the play was awarded the Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year Award in 2001.

Cast: 3 female, 3 male

What people say:

"The Scottish poet and playwright Liz Lochhead has taken liberties with Euripides, turning this harrowing Greek tragedy into a thoroughly modern feminist text ... Lochhead's colloquial, witty yet often powerfully poetic new version manages the tricky task of honouring her ancient Greek source while turning Medea into a distinctively Scottish play for the 21st century. It is one of the most exciting and gripping productions of a Greek tragedy I have ever seen." — The Daily Telegraph (London)

"Lochhead's searing adaptation of Medea ... should firmly establish the Glasgow playwright as Scotland's greatest living dramatist… the finest piece I have seen on the Scottish stage this year." — Scotland on Sunday

"Liz Lochhead's stunning new version of Medea is the kind of interpretation – brave, visionary, risky – that blows a well-known text apart and reassembles it in a completely new light … What Lochhead does is to recast Medea as an episode – ancient but new, cosmic yet agonizingly familiar – in a sex war which is recognizable to every woman, and most of the men, in the theatre." — The Scotsman

"Some of the most exciting recent work on Greek drama in the English language." — Sunday Times

"Who would have thought that the grisly, vengeful tale of Medea could contain so much humour?" — NOW Magazine (Toronto)

About the Playwright:

Liz Lochhead is one of Scotland's leading writers and broadcasters, perhaps best-known for Scottish theatre works including her adaptation of Euripides' classic Medea and Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off. Her writing is renowned for its use of contemporary Scots, infusing her work with the energy, wit and rhythm of the language. She was made Poet Laureate of Glasgow from 2005 and 2011, the Makar, or National Poet of Scotland, from 2011 and 2016, and awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2015.

Euripides was one of the three great tragedians of classical Athens, the other two being Aeschylus and Sophocles. Some ancient scholars attributed ninety-five plays to him, of these, eighteen or nineteen have survived complete. Euripides is identified with theatrical innovations that have profoundly influenced drama down to modern times, especially in the representation of traditional, mythical heroes as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. This new approach led him to pioneer developments that later writers adapted to comedy, some of which are characteristic of romance.