THEATRE REVIEW: Medea starring Kate Fleetwood

WORTH A LOOK?: ***1/2

WHERE: Almeida Theatre

WHEN: 10/10, runs to 14/11

The best thing about Rachel Cusk’s modern-day take on this Euripides classic is the recasting of the chorus as a group of mothers quite literally left holding their babies as their respective men go about their business.

Together the women muse on what it means to be a young mother in 2015 and their differing attitudes to the men in their lives.

It’s an all together different Medea, to the one we last saw, Helen McCrory in a bravura performance to the National last year. Kate Fleetwood proves what a versatile actress she is here in the title role as her marriage falls apart and we begin to fear for the safety of her children.

We last saw Fleetwood in High Society at the Old Vic heading the cast in what was one of the best musical revivals of the year. Who could forget her bullying a mid show standing ovation out of a rapturous audience on closing night?

Cusk’s adaptation of the tale’s plot is less surefooted than her deployment of the chorus and the oomph of the original text is rather lost at the end in a flourish of cross dressing and rhyme. An interesting exercise then to relocate Medea to present-day north London but not one to linger especially long in the mind.

  • Tickets here. Enjoyed this review? Follow author Neil Durham on Twitter @NeilDurham

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