Review: Complete Works Theatre Company’s MEDEA presents classical Greek theatre staging to an intrigued Australian audience

Complete Works Theatre Company is rounding out its two-week tour throughout Victoria by bringing it’s delightful production of Euripides’s MEDEA to Melbourne University’s Union House Theatre.

Do not be turned-off by stereotypes normally associated with classical Greek theatre according to its title.  MEDEA is a story that demonstrates a woman’s determination to fight for justice against a man who betrays her without cause.  Complete Works presents an adaptation that drives exceptional performances from its actors appealing to all audience members.   At moments, the audience, consisting of university students, young professionals and even mid-aged adults, delighted in the comedic characteristics found in Jason established in the writing and precisely gestured by the actor, Philip Cameron-Smith. Other standout performances were Jennifer Vuletic who played Lady Maid & Chorus Member with such an ease of concern like any mother or friend would demonstrate, and Naomi Rukavina who portrays Medea with such tragic elegance and power-hungry grace. Other highlighting elements include a surprising element at the end of the play creating a mystical appeal to the character involved. I would tell you more about that surprise, but it’s worth witnessing to know what I’m talking about.

Though direction from Artistic Director, Andrew Blackman, used classical Greek theatre structure to a contemporary audience, the 90-minute performance swiftly passed by as each event moved with suspense, intrigue and delight across the stage. The lighting, designed by Julia Knibbs, accompanied the tradition Greek Theatre staging as it illuminated actor’s faces from the front creating shadows not only on faces but also on the wall to appeal to the character’s larger-than-life struggles of man vs. fate. Sound design, composed by Finn Cooney, complimented the Mediterranean setting.

MEDEA continues its run at Melbourne University’s Union House on Thursday and Friday, 30 & 31 July at 10:30AM (SOLD OUT) and 1PM, and will complete its tour on 4th August at East bank Centre in Shepparton. For tickets and more information, visit www.completeworks.com.au.