If Oedipus Rex had a sister, her name would be Medea. In the pantheon of Greek tragedy, she is the mother of all murderers: a woman who betrays her father, dismembers her brother, and finally, kills her own children, all for her love and her hate of a man.
In the original version by Euripides, she is a sorceress, whom the Gods, out of pity or respect, whisk away in a golden chariot at the end of the play. But in a new Abbey Theater production now headed for Broadway, the gods are missing. Instead director Deborah Warner and actor Fiona Shaw offer a Medea who is more human than hero, more trodden than tragic.
She is a frighteningly modern Medea, a middle aged mom in tennis shoes who gets left for the younger woman, who gets mad and then gets even.
Medea is playing at the Wilbur Theater in Boston through November 3, and at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts November 6-9, 2002.
Fiona Shaw, actor
and Deborah Warner, director of the Abbey Theater production of “Medea”, currently on tour in the United States.