This startlingly modern version of Euripides' classic tragedy explores the private fury bubbling under public behaviour and how in today's world a mother, fuelled by anger at her husband's infidelity, might be driven to commit the worst possible crime.
Mike Barlett's debut play, My Child (2007), saw him hailed by The Stage as 'one of the most exciting new talents to emerge in recent times'. In 2009, Cock won the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre, while Contractions was nominated for the TMA Best New Play award. Bartlett was Pearson Playwright in Residence at the Royal Court in 2007, and is currently Associate Playwright at Paines Plough. Euripides (484-406 BC) was a Greek dramatist. The last major tragic playwright of the classical world, he has also been called "the first modern".
The contrast is shocking and funny. This Medea is too big for a
place like this, her passions too intense, her intelligence too
vicious, and in Bartlett's own production, there are an unexpected
number of laughs. . . As writer, Bartlett doesn't just transfer
Euripides to the modern world - he exposes him to the full weight
of post-Freudian psychology. * Guardian *
Rage and fear seep through Mike Bartlett's domesticated updating of Euripides, clashing brashly and inviting its protagonists to step outside. They simmer behind the closed doors of the red brick estate where Rachael Stirling's fine, visceral Medea has been left with their son, Tom, when Adam Levy's cocky, human Jason runs off with the landlord's young daughter, Kate. * The Stage *
Bartlett does more than simply find modern equivalents for classical originals. This Medea is not a barbarian at sea in cultured Corinth, nor has she slain a dragon or sacrificed her family to be there. She is an outsider in other ways ... Bartlett keeps matters tantalisingly balanced ... compelling stuff. -- Robert Dawson Scott * The Times *
Bartlett ... has reimagined Euripides' great tragedy in a 21st century where a wedding guest films the death agony of a young bride on her iPhone ... the familiarity of both the setting and the circumstances ... make the horror so much harder to bear. -- Anna Burnside * Independent *