How times have..stayed pretty much the same. Each year I give my folks tickets to Belvoir and each year I lament that I had been too tight to buy myself some. Last year I was having an Australian Lit enlightenment, and missed out on seeing Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. But this year is going to be different. Belvoir are producing Medea.
Just when I was wondering what exactly makes a “Great Book”, and wondering why I hadn’t heard of pretty well any Greek drama, I noticed in this year’s program that Belvoir are producing Thyestes and Medea. I won’t be missing out on Medea. This post is not exactly a spoiler, because with tragedy things can only end badly, but the ‘agon’ of the final scene really sums up a very current issue:
Jason: So why did you kill them?
Medea: To cause you pain (1397-1398).
I am ashamed to say that I have witnessed the manipulation of children personally. I recently visited the justice precinct of Parramatta and noticed that the Children’s Court is decorated exclusively to calm children. It roused the same feeling in me as did reading Medea. The way the Belvoir program reads, I suspect the producers may be putting a twist on Greek violence being carried out offstage. I fear the children may be front and centre and the adults may be bickering out of sight. I can’t bear to look but I can’t bear to miss out.
Euripides. 2008. Medea and other plays. Translated by James Morwood. Oxford University Press: Oxford.