Blueprint Medea by Julia Pascal. Finborough Theatre on line to 2 September 2020. 3***. William Russell.

This is the Finborough at its most challenging. It is another production I missed last May and I am not sure this archive video quite captures the impact it would have had in reality. Pascal has come up with a complex up dated version of the Medea legend in which she is turned into a Kurdish asylum seeking in London who first forms a relationship with a friendly border guard who us sympathetic to the problems she is facing in her new home, and then meets a randy young mini-cab driver, Jason-Mohammed, an Iraqi. He is charming feckless and they set up house. Medea has twins. But his is a good Moslem boy. His father, who hates Kurds, demand that he marry a suitable cousin and, the cousin’s father being a factory owner, Jason-Mohammed, as well as being obliged to do what his father wants, because that is what a son must do, realises that it also opens doors to bettering himself. Medea takes her revenge. It is stylishly performed with strong performances from Ruth D’Silva as Medea and Max Rinhart as Jason, and they get first rate support from the other players – Shaniaz Hama Ali, Tiran Ashal and Amanda Maud. But the dvd archive is a bit dicey in quality and one suspects does quite convey the impact to the viewer as the performance did to the audience. It certainly raises issues in plenty and when she finally kills hers sons director Pascal has devised a stunning theatrical effect, one so simple that it is all the more chilling. There is a good set by Kati Hind and Peter Moffatt has devised some fine sound effects to back the action. For the issues it raises it is well worth a look. Runs 85 minutes.

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