Screaming Body – Découpage Collective

A modern Medea focusing on love, loss and desperation

★★★
theatre review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Screaming Body
Published 12 Aug 2017

Georgia and her husband Jason fall in love when she’s 17. They then marry, have children, and live a picture-perfect life in a big apartment. Georgia loves being a mum. She loves being in love. After she gets the twins to their first day of school, she takes the rest of the day off work. But the discovery she makes upon returning home seals her fate.

This contemporary, minimalist adaptation of Medea is a reminder of the original play's relevance. Georgia’s long-term partner leaves her for someone younger and more attractive, the wealthy and well-connected screw over the vulnerable, and female emotional expression is considered dangerous. Two actors take turns to tell Georgia’s story. At first, it appears they’re sharing two similar tales but as names are introduced, it’s clear that it’s one and the same.

Though an unconventional choice which is never explained, it emphasises the ease with which women can relate to Medea’s experiences. It also varies what would otherwise be a monologue. A tender, uninhibited intimacy between the actors shows a reassuring female solidarity. Even though it’s unclear if these character/narrators inhabit the same world as each other, and if they do how that’s possible, it’s a device that works. Though Georgia’s emotional life is evident, large sections of the original Medea are glossed over and time passes too quickly for this story to fully resonate. It's not explored as fully as it deserves, but the snippets seen here are shared with conviction.