Medea's Children (3 stars)

This article is from 2011

Medea's Children

Photography | Douglas Jones

A cautionary tale for divorcing parents

Lung Ha’s Theatre Company is known for its use of performers with learning difficulties. Teaming up with Swedish company Unga Klara they bring us an exploration of the psychic trauma felt by children affected by divorce.

The script, originally written in 1975 by Suzanne Osten and Per Lysander, reimagines the unsettling horror of a family split in terms of the brutal acts Medea visited on her children. Mark Howie and Katrina Merrilees are Jason and Medea, too absorbed in their marriage difficulties to notice the effects on their children (Stephan Tait and the excellent Nicola Tuxworth, who carries a lot of the play). John Kielty and Maria Oller provide supportive roles and narrative bookending as Musician and Nanny, respectively.

The play is about children but not really for them. The inclusion of actors with learning difficulties plays nicely to the theme of including children in discourse about adult topics, rather than harming them with an ostensibly protective silence.

As generations are increasingly touched by broken marriages Lung Ha’s give us a pacy, funny and thought-provoking production that acts as a cautionary tale to adults.

St George’s West, 225 7001, until 29 Aug, 10.30am, £8 (£6).

Medea's Children

  • 3 stars

Medea's Children by Suzanne Osten and Per Lysander. Medea's Children is a landmark play in Swedish theatre. It is the story, told in a playful, humorous and challenging way, of a family who manage to go through divorce realising that life must go on. When the play was first performed in 1975 it was pioneering in the way…