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Euripides’ classic has been revived by a Georgian company who stress the eponymous heroine's refugee status.
Fey; plays have been more frequently adapted than Euripirles' (lassu of womanhood and infanticide. The eponymous tragic hernine, left to fend for herself by husband Jason in a foreign land, is forced by gender and cirCtiri‘islanr.r.> into tragic deCisions about her family.
Olga Taxidou, adapter of this most recent version, sees the play in terms of its contemporary relevance, stressing both the foreign-ness of Medea, and her status as refugee. She comments: ’The original deals with the idea of otherness, and the idea of strangeness Within a culture, and is one of the first plays to contextualise the debate between ciVilisation and barbarism, or rather what we choose to define as these two terms '
Taxidou has reworked the play to reflect contemporary European. events in particular ’What I've tried to do With this verslcn, witch also Incorporates The Trojan Women [another Ens-nodes play}, is to contextualise the myth of
.. , 3;“. lnfanticide, colonialism, gender and love: Medea
Medea, and of Jason And The Argonauts Within the post- Cold War period, making it relevant to the current crisis of nationhood in the countries around the Black Sea. All the ideas of colonialism relevant to the time of Jason are being reVisited on the Balkans and this region in the late 20th century, where there are more refugees, for the same reasons.’
For Taxrdou, who is herself Greek, but permanently resident in Scotland, gender is an inextricable part of this issue ‘The process of colonisation is tied to both gender and nation, Stories of empire are almost configuratively and structurally linked With stories of love This battle between CiVilisation and barbarism is linked in the original story with the roles of men and women,‘ she says.
There could hardly be a more appropriate company than Georgia's Tumanishvili to produce this promising adaptation. 'This is a company that fought to survive the civil war in Georgia, and is very involved With the whole issue of refugees. They were discovered by Peter Brook, amongst others, in the 80s, and they have a long link with Scotland, which goes back to when 784 toured Georgia, back when it was still the Sowet Union' (Steve Cramer)
% Medea. See Hit list, right, for details
ponder exactly why their last two Fringe shows sold out. In advance.
However, fifteen minutes and an open mind later, the play suddenly reveals itself as something more
Take Two: one of these creatures may not be called Dave
Dave Stirling and Dave Reid-Kay first met at the age of five. They’ve spent the last 28 years perfecting the art of taking the piss, and have now returned to the Fringe for their third consecutive year. Take Two is a determined exerCise in postmodern confu5ion, featuring two close comedian friends who write a sitcom about two close comedian friends, taking the script from their personal experiences with each other. Confused? You will be.
Initially, the play seems disappointing, no more innovative than a couple of guys trying to force entertainment from the dregs of student humour. They gag about University life, women and drink, leaving the audience to
complex and subtle. Both Daves fall in love With the same woman: one marries her but philanders and she turns to the other. Basrc maybe, but certainly not Simple. The work is a polished study of JQBIOUSY and obsession, the nuances revealing the actors to be more accomplished and genume than original impressions might suggest.
Take Two examines the underbelly of intense working friendships. Those who work alike and live alike are prone to love alike. Take heed. (Nicky Agate) fit Take Two (Fringe) Stirling Effort, Calder’s Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2757, unti'l37 Aug, 3.30pm, £6.50 (£5.50).
Bio yourhnwad of Festival cash on somebf these. You won’t
Medea See preview, left. Medea (Fringe) Georgian Film Actors’ Studio, Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, 7 —3 Sep, 4.20pm, £8 (£7). The Flat See review on following pages. The Flat (Fringe) The Three Canadians, Calder’s Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 275 7, until 37 Aug, 5.45pm, £7 (£6).
All Strange Away European premiere of important, and explicit, Beckett play. All Strange Away (Fringe) Asylum Theatre, Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 5 Sep, times vary, £7.50 (£6.50).
l Don't Know If You’re Familiar With The Voodoo Phenomenon 0f Zombie, But . .. Mystifying, multi- faceted sketch show — and a supremely funny one, too. lDon’t Know If You’re Familiar With The Voodoo Phenomenon Of Zombie, But. . . (Fringe) Universal Grinding Wheel, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, unti/37 Aug, 5.55pm, £6.50/£6/£3. 50 (£5. 50/£5).
Circus Ethiopia Astonishing acrobatic feats from the children and young adults of one of Ethiopia's new circuses. Circus Ethiopia (Fringe) Circus Of Horrors Big Top (Venue 50) 554 303 7/226 2428, until 37 Aug, times vary, £ 72/£ 70 (1? 9/158)
The Tell-Tale Heart Chilling, atmospheric retelling of the Poe classic, plus an equally compelling work by Rilke and a discordant cello piece, Bonzer. The Tell-Tale Heart (Fringe) lroqim, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, unti/37 Aug (not 24), 3.40pm, £7/£6 (£6/£5).
From Hell She Came A self-help tape has unforeseen consequences in smalltown USA. A well-staged, well- acted Stephen King homage. From Hell She Came (Fringe) Deadly Serious Theatre Company, Pleasance Over The Road (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 37 Aug (not 25), 5.30pm, £8/£ 7 (£7/£6).
27Aug—108ep 1998 THE U8T35