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Medea at National Theatre

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Photo (Helen McCrory) by Jason Bell

Helen McCrory's masterful portrayal of Medea has hit town with a seven week stint at the National Theatre.

The Greek tragedy, directed by Carrie Cracknell, is moved into our contemporary world of mod-cons and camera phones and stridently follows the National's tradition of innovation.

Medea is the most reviled of criminals; the mother who kills her own children and it is her descent that drives the play.

Already a murderer, having bumped off her brother at the behest of her husband Jason, played by Danny Sapani, she finds that her Barbarian roots start to prove inconvenient for her spouse.

Though having provided him with two sons, Jason is concerned his own political ambitions will be undermined by the non-citizen status of his wife.

A proposal by the King of Corinth, Creon, to marry his daughter is a step-up he dare not refuse and it's this betrayal of his wife that sets a bloody and brutal wheel in motion.

McCrory deserves fulsome praise for capturing the intensity and spite of a woman scorned and it's her performance that proves a real marvel.

At just over an hour and a half in length, the play manages to maintain rhythm while leaving audiences in no doubt proceedings will come to an all too grisly end.
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When: 14 July - 4 September
Where: National Theatre
Cost: 15, 25, 35
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