A fleet of Greek warriors sets out on a raid to distant Colchis to conquer the legendary Golden Fleece. Once there, their leader Jason finds help in Medea, proud daughter of the king, and the magic powers she is alleged to possess. Medea has fallen desperately in love with Jason and is ready to do anything for him. She will stop at nothing: She sacrifices her family and her home country and finally follows Jason to Greece, where they live happily and bring their two sons into the world.
But Medea is a stranger in Greece and unlike other Greek women, as Jason cannot help but notice. Cupid’s arrows are slowly losing their effect. In order to be accepted at King Creon’s court, Jason finally turns to Creon’s daughter and abandons Medea and his two sons. Medea despairs. She finds herself isolated and a stranger in a country that she built her entire future upon. She sacrificed everything for Jason, and now, adultery, betrayal and the revocation of her rights force her to go into exile, or – better yet – to annihilate herself. Backed into a corner, Medea commits the most radical of crimes: She murders her own children.
Medea. Her name and myth have lost nothing of their fascination. The eponymous play was written by the Greek poet Euripides in 432 BC and performed in the same year. No other tragedy and mythical characters have undergone such a wide range of medial transformations –in literature, theatre, opera, film or even comics. The countless attributions and rewritings of this mythological character, Medea’s many veils, seem equally fascinating and impenetrable.
Who is Medea? Euripides confronts us with a character who – even more than 2,400 years after her creation – seems drastically and radically modern. Medea represents the abysses of the human mind, the incoherent subject. Medea is aware of her cruel deed. She contemplates it. She articulates it. She shrinks back from it as an irrational action. And yet she decides to go through with it. A deed that goes far beyond the private and attacks the very social expectations and structures that have completely marginalised Medea.
Markus Bothe, director of both musical theatre and drama, has worked at theatres including Deutsche Oper Berlin, Semperoper Dresden, Staatsoper Stuttgart, Schauspiel Frankfurt, Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus and Konzert Theater Bern. At Schauspiel Leipzig, his first work was a production of “Gefährliche Liebschaften (Liasons Dangereuses)” by Choderlos de Laclos in 2018. Set designer Kathrin Frosch has recently worked with directors including Markus Bothe, Armin Petras, Stephan Rottkamp and Matthew Wild in Bern, at Staatstheater Stuttgart and at Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen. Sabine Blickenstorfer is also a regular member of the team around Markus Bothe; she most recently designed both set and costumes for “Gefährliche Liebschaften” at Schauspiel Leipzig, where she also designed costumes for several productions directed by Enrico Lübbe, including “FAUST”.