Death becomes her

By Hu Bei Source:Global Times Published: 2012-11-18 19:00:06


Scenes from Medea's Scream
Scenes from Medea's Scream

In ancient Greek mythology, Medea is the granddaughter of the sun god, Helios. However, she does not enjoy the affection, or protection, of her grandfather, largely because of the fact that the only way she can get what she wants in life is by killing people. 

In order to win the heart of her beloved, Jason (a king from the ancient Greek city of Iolcos), she kills her own blood brother to put Jason back on his rightful throne after he is deposed by his uncle. But Jason then betrays Medea. She kills their children and also Jason's new lover in retribution.

 "I tried to approach the inner world of Medea, and to take a deep look at how she thinks," said Sašo Jurcer, artistic director of Medea's Scream which is an adaptation of the Greek myth of Medea. The play, created by Inner World Theatre from Maribor, Slovenia, will be presented at the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre until November 21.

"From the moment I read the story until now, I have always believed that in Medea's inner being she must ask herself countless times, 'Could all of this have been avoided?' 'Was there any other way?' And thus, from this starting point, we began our process of examining Medea's mental landscape," said Jurcer.

The artistic director Saso Jurcer. Photos: Courtesy of Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre
The artistic director Saso Jurcer. Photos: Courtesy of Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre

Tool of expression

Medea's Scream contains not a single word or note of music throughout. And the only character represented is Medea herself, played here by actress, Mojtina Jurcer (the director's wife).

The sounds that do exist in the production are amplified recordings of running water, grinding sand, yells and screams.

"In the Western theater tradition, the word has always been the main tool of expression," he added. "But this is something our company has gradually moved away from. We have tried to liberate the actor's body from the physical confines of the outer world. In our everyday world, language is often abused in babbling, so it is sometimes difficult to perceive the message that is being put across and this is especially true in the medium of theater. But I would add that it's difficult to define this as simply physical theater or any other theater form because it stands at the intersection of performance art, contemporary dance, physical theater, and a theater of images."

Medea's Scream starts in the moment she is betrayed, leaving her alone and abandoned, contemplating the blind necessity of her fate. And the play focuses on this moment in Medea's destiny, a moment that ruptures into a force of destruction and hate.

"The myth of Medea is one of the most tragic tales to emanate from early European civilization. And I believe there is no better way than the medium of theater to connect us with the story. In our productions, we always try to touch upon what is universal," he said.

Scenes from Medea's Scream
Scenes from Medea's Scream


Date: Until November 21, 7:30 pm

Venue: Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre


Address: 288 Anfu Road


Tickets: 80 and 280 yuan

Call 6473-0123 for details


Posted in: Metro Shanghai

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