Gesher Theater Old Jaffa
September 8, 2005
To make the required impact today, any production of Medea has to bridge the gap between the world of ancient mythology and that of contemporary reality and rationality.
Lena Kreindlin with this brilliant modern rocked-up version of the play has done just that. Set against Michal Kremenko's set with its impressive mod approximation of Greek architecture, its chromium poolside chairs and streamlined pool in place of the classical wine-dark sea, with Sasson Kedem's original costumes, Bambi's inspired lighting, Avi Binyamin's appropriate music, and Ben Bar-Shavit's crisp Hebrew translation, Kreindlin's direction of Medea is superb.
Here a tattooed, beer-swilling Jason (Miki Leon) betrays his barbarian wife to gain a kingdom ruled by Creon. (Boris Ahanov's rendition of the king is powerful.) Euripides, master of intense human relations, has created the drama's most complex female character, Medea. A woman possessed, driven by despair, grief, hatred and jealousy she wreaks unspeakable vengeance on Jason, first with the cruel murder of Creon and his daughter then, in a final horrendous act of revenge, with the slaughter of their two small sons. Ivgenya Dodina's Medea is a study of devouring passion. Hers is a scorching witch of Colchis which reaches heights unsurpassed in dramatic intensity.
The Chorus of the Women of Crete, here presented by a group of sponga-sloshing cleaning ladies, is given to great effect by Shiri Gadni, Michal Weinberg, Tal Schieff, Michal Levy and Adi Shalita, local actresses. Together with the Nurse, their performances are remarkable, not only in their histrionic sincerity, but in the excellent quality of their diction, a feature not at all common among today's young actors and actresses.