Take Euripides, Kurdish resistance and refugees in London and what do you get? “A powerful and hard-hitting female tale.” We’ve rounded up highlights from reviews of the premiere of Julia Pascal’s Blueprint Medea – plus a great London Live television interview. Time to get booking!
In the play, a modern version of Euripides’ ancient Greek tragedy, Medea (played by Ruth D’Silva) is a Kurdish freedom fighter who escapes the Turkish military and arrives at UK Border Control on a forged passport. While living on the margins of London life and working illegally as a cleaner in a gym, she meets Jason-Mohammed (Max Rinehart), the son of Iraqi immigrants.
The title character is based on Asia Ramazan Antar, the real-life Kurdish Women’s Protection Units fighter who became a symbol for the feminist struggle in the Rojava conflict and in the Kurdish fight against ISIS in Syria.
Ruth D’Silva stars as Medea opposite Max Rinehart as Jason. They’re joined in the cast by Tiran Aakel, Shaniaz Hama Ali and Amanda Maud.
Blueprint Medea runs from 21 May to 8 June 2019 at the Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED, with performances Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3pm. Tickets are priced £10-£20. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
On London Live
Francis Nash: “A powerful and hard-hitting female tale inspired by direct interviews with Kurdish freedom fighters, perfect for the intimacy and simplicity of fringe theatre… beautifully laced with Lorcaesque poetry,,,poignantly delivered… To have such a profound effect highlights the power and importance of fringe theatre and writers like Pascal providing a voice for these voiceless females onstage.”
Jeff Prestridge: “The play, written and directed by Julia Pascal, is powerful fare… It covers a mishmash of relevant and topical issues – cultural identity, the emancipation (or otherwise) of women, the strangle-like grip of religion, sex, family and a lot more besides. Bold and brave.”
David Guest: “It isn’t hard to see why visionary playwright and director Julia Pascal, who has been a leading voice in the role of women in the arts, felt the story of Medea would resonate so clearly today… Ruth D’Silva is captivating as a passionate Medea… Max Rinehart is perfect as the careless Jason Mohammed.”
Dominica Plummer: “The muscular direction shows the talents of the actors to best advantage… Ruth D’Silva as Medea gives us a leading lady trained to fight and win… Blueprint Medea is a multifaceted and complex drama, and is capable of making a connection with audiences wherever they may be.”
Emma Lamond: “The cast work well together, with strong individual performances and moments of beautiful storytelling… Ruth D’Silva plays a striking and captivating Medea, enticing the audience under her spell… I thoroughly enjoyed the performances… Interesting and engaging.”
Guardian: What to see in London theatre
Blueprint Medea makes one of the Guardian critics’ top picks of openings to see.