Medea Redux: Intimate in Scope, Expansive in Impace by Scott Cleverdon
When I was growing up I knew a guy who saw U2 playing in a small theatre in Edinburgh. He said that even then, they were too big for the stage. I wish I had been there, if nothing else, to tell the same story.
On Saturday night I found myself in one of the brick torpedo tubes that have been converted into theatres in bowels of Madrid’s la Latina neighbourhood and beyond.
I knew the story of Medea and its gruesome theme and was interested to know how this, a modern take on that tragedy would play out and play out through the voice of a single individual.
The play is naturalistic and elegant in the way it tells the story through our unreliable narrator. We are forced into objectivity by the staging and the tumbling answer to a question we never asked and are seduced into empathy by the raw, authentic and uninflected sharing of a story, a story that is part confession, part investigation and all mythology.
Something odd happens during this experience for the audience, perhaps the most shocking thing that can happen to us in a modern theatre production; there is no artifice in its performance, no self-indulgence and no extortion.
In a time where being a victim appears to be the coin in a fluctuating currency, this show does everything to avoid evoking sympathy.
The play deals subtextually with themes of love, obsession and the profundity of myth. Deeper still it can be seen as an exploration of the themes of abortion and motherhood.
Summer Banks has done a beautiful and selfless job in simple staging and economic direction. She lets the story be discovered like toys being slowly removed from toybox, turned in the hand and then placed to one side whilst reaching for the next. She knows we as an audience can get it and she lets us.
Saskia Van Ryneveld is an absolute revelation. With a quiet confidence she brings us into this modern-day-Medea’s world. There are moments where she doesn’t speak, long moments but these are thrilling in that we, the audience is compelled to reflect and think and come up with questions we know we cannot ask.
There is a great elegance in her execution and a real sense of something actually happening, something real as she tells her story. It is harrowing because we can understand her and heroic because she never asks for sympathy only the time to tell her story.
Saskia has a charm and openness that belies her delicate command of the material and really brings a brilliant, uncertain and authentic presence to the stage.
In the future, I will have the privilege of saying I saw Saskia performing Medea in a brickwalled tunnel in Madrid. I’ll be glad that it will be the other guy who is jealous for a change.
POSITIVO: Simple, pure, subtle. Elegantly directed and confidently performed.
NEGATIVO: Lighting needs improving but I think they know that.
MEDEA REDUX (V.O inglés)
A one-woman show by Neil LaBute in V.O. inglés directed by Summer Banks and performed by Saskia van Ryneveld.
_ Medea Redux_ is a tragic tale in which a woman recounts her relationship with a high school teacher and the lengths she finally goes to in order to exact revenge. This play is from the triple bill _Bash:
Latterday Plays_ — a collection of three raw, dark, yet lyrically intense one-act plays which won the Time Out Critic’s Choice Award.
– Samuel French Ltd.
Una obra de Neil LaBute en V.O. inglés dirigido por Summer Banks y interpretado por Saskia van Ryneveld.
_Medea Redux_ es un cuento trágico en el que una mujer relata su relación con una maestra de secundaria y todo lo que finalmente hace para vengarse. Esta obra es de _Bash: Latterday Plays_: una colección de tres obras de un acto — bruta, oscura y, sin embargo, líricamente intensa — que ganó el premio Time Out Critic’s Choice Award.
– Samuel French Ltd.