Brett Bailey's medEia for the BaxterDIVA PR
Brett Bailey’s acclaimed ‘pop-tragedy’, medEia, will have a brief four-night run at the Baxter Theatre, from 12 to 15 September 2012.
This is Bailey’s first production to be staged in Cape Town since his Macbeth was presented at Spier in 2007, and follows on the heels of his astonishing EXHIBIT A at this year’s National Arts Festival. His last show at the Baxter was iMumbo Jumbo in 2003.
medEia features the award winning actress Faniswa Yisa (The Fire Raisers, Every Year, Every Day I am Walking) in the title role, with James MacGregor as Jason and drumming ace Frank Paco from the band Tucan Tucan on percussion. Paco has drummed for Queen, Bono, Clegg and Sting amongst others. The supporting cast includes Apollo Ntshoko, Indalo Stofile, Mbali Kgosidintsi and Namhla Chuka.
Bailey’s 2005 site-specific adaptation of medEia was hailed as ‘an anarchic masterpiece’ by The Star, and elected the Best Production of the Decade by the Mail & Guardian. This year’s stage version fuses the dark tragedy with groovy rhythms, spoken word artistry and driving pop music.
The show will premiere in Zurich and Basel in August. After its Cape Town run it will return to Europe to play in Berlin, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and five other Dutch cities.
Beginning in an isolated African village, medEia locates the classical Greek tragedy in a contemporary post-colonial setting. Medea, the village priestess, yearns for something more than her sterile, isolated life. She elopes to Europe with Jason, a mercenary, burning bridges in her wake. The couple settles in urban Corinth and raises two sons. But there is no place for outsiders in this land of promise, and when Jason marries the king of Corinth’s daughter Medea sinks into depression with darkest repercussions…
This is Bailey’s medEia, written by Dutch playwright Oscar van Woensel, and told by a sultry chorus of spoken word artists, who rap to Paco’s sensual rhythms. Experiences of xenophobia, and the isolation of immigrants in contemporary Europe form the backdrop to this passionate story of emancipation. Its fragmented, lyrical text is linked with music of the likes of Radiohead and Cold Play.
Advance booking is recommended for the Cape Town run of medEia. Performances at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town run 12 to 15 September at 8pm with tickets R120 per person and R80 for Students and Pensioners upon presentation of valid ID. Group discounts are available, all via Computicket or 0861 915 8000.
Brett Bailey is a playwright, designer, stage director and the artistic director of Thirld World Bunfight. He curated Infecting The City from 2008 until 2011. His acclaimed iconoclastic dramas, which interrogate the dynamics of the post-colonial world, include Big Dada, Verdi’s macbEth, iMumbo Jumbo and Orfeus. His performance installations include Blood Diamonds, and Exhibit A. He directed the opening show at the World Summit on Arts and Culture in Johannesburg (2009), and from 2006-2011 the opening shows at the Harare International Festival of the Arts. He was chair of the jury of the 2011 Prague Quadrennial, and is currently on the jury for the International Theatre Institute’s (ITI) ‘Music Theatre NOW Awards’. His works are presented across Europe, Australia and Africa, and have won several awards, including a Gold medal for design at the Prague Quadrennial (2007).
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Web site: http://www.thirdworldbunfight.co.za
Baxter Theatre Centre, Cape Town Western Cape South Africa