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EdFringe 2018 Review: Medea Electronica

Medea Electronica
Rating: ★★
★★

Venue: Pleasance Courtyard


Greek tragedy Medea gets an ethereal re-telling from the genre defying Pecho Mama company. Taking Euripides's epic text to the new setting of 1980's Thatcher-era London, Medea Electronica blends electronic music with rich dramatic story-telling to craft a unique sensory experience.

Medea Electronica sees our titular character discover her husband's deceit and lies and subsequently find her world and relationship with her two sons crumbling under this pressure. This heartbreak pushes her further into a desolate rage in which she sets to claim her life back.

Mella Faye
takes centre-stage as the titular Medea, and contributes lead vocals to the project. She's joined by Sam Cox on drums and Alex Stanford on keyboards, whilst there are pre-recorded actors taking the role of the males in Medea's life - her sons and husband - subsequently much rests on Faye's shoulders. Yet, here she can only be described as incredible - her performance is the centrepiece of the project, excelling in both her dramatic turn and musical performance. Faye's Medea is a loving mother, with a wonderful relationship with her sons and a supportive, compassionate dynamic with her husband. She's a relatable and undeserving victim, something which makes her performance all the more fascinating - particularly as she descends into chaotic rage. This is where Faye's performance truly shines.

The crumbling of Medea's life is captured in a tremendous manner, handled with high drama and a stirring sense of tension. We see (or hear) Jason becoming more distant - refusing to answer Medea's questions and pleas - subsequently building up the sense of mystery within the play. We empathise with the titular character's confusion and frustration. Why has her husband left? Why won't he talk to Medea? This is seen in particular as Medea's relationship with husband, Jason, turns venomous and their children become props in this bitter battle. This conversion to working class London also works well, with the production team making effective use of period Thatcher speeches and a set littered with a few pieces of period furniture to craft an eighties aesthetic.

Whilst the dramatics are excellent, the electronic music also masterfully heightens proceedings. Giving the performance an almost ethereal quality, tracks like Pick Up the Phone and Carry On, add to the narrative development - channelling Medea's descent into a furious rage.

Medea Electronica is a sublime sensory experience - blending cutting edge musical compositions, emotive dramatics and classic storytelling results in stunning theatrical vision.
Theatre Review 5072632232035159565
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