Northern Broadsides specialises in direct, uncluttered productions of classical and Shakespearean drama. This new version of Medea, scripted by one of the UKs most prominent poets, certainly lives up to the companys manifesto - it is considerably more accessible than much Greek tragedy. However, at times, the colloquial touches go too far in disrupting the grandeur that might help us make sense of Euripides extremes. The thinking behind the Chorus folksy harmonica ditties is understandable, but elsewhere, needless slanginess (the routine replacement of children with kids, for example) and expletives sound an odd note amidst the more poetic diction, risking bathos where there might have otherwise been awe or horror. Nina Kristofferson (Medea) in Medea at Oxford Playhouse. This is a pity, as the central performances are crisp and coruscating. Nina Kristoffersons Medea is a creature of fire and ice, one minute lacerating the ears of the Corinthians with vengeful invective, the next all kittenish as she wheedles and beseeches them. It is a fascinating reading, seemingly caught between the pantomimic and the otherworldly, and Tom Paulins script is at its best here, probing into the deeper and darker reasoning behind Medeas ostracism, the otherness that has both attracted and repelled her intimates. Vowing to use dark arts against her husband and children, Kristofferson revels in the more incantatory, voodoo-like scenes, making the stage her own. Still, this production isnt always entirely sure whether it wants to be sincere or ironic. The language is certainly accessible, but emotional connection may ultimately prove more elusive.
Copyright © 2011 Nina Kristofferson´s All rights reserved.
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