BLUEPRINT MEDEA

by Julia Pascal

 
Tuesday, 21 May – Saturday, 8 June 2019.

The world premiere

★★★★ Close-Up Culture
★★★★ The Upcoming
★★★★ Jewish Renaissance

“If I am a virgin. If the enemy catch me. You know what they will do…”

Kurdish freedom fighter Medea escapes the Turkish military and arrives at UK Border Control on a forged passport. Slipping through immigration, Medea discovers how to exist on the margins of London life. Working illegally as a cleaner in a gym, she meets Jason-Mohammed, the son of Iraqi immigrants. Their attraction results in the birth of twin boys. Medea believes that she has finally found a new home, a new family and a new life.



But when Jason-Mohammed’s father decides that his son must marry Glauke, an Iraqi cousin, Medea realises that she will lose both her sons and her safe haven in the UK. 



As her whole world falls apart, she is forced to accept that she has nothing to lose by revenging herself – destroying the lives who those who have betrayed her and keeping her sons’ spirits with her forever…

Based on interviews with Kurdish fighters living in the UK, and written and directed by the first woman ever to direct at the National Theatre, Blueprint Medea is an award-winning new drama loosely inspired by Euripides’ Medea, which connects the classical to the contemporary to explore eternal questions of passion, war, cultural identity, women’s freedom, sex, family and love.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT AND DIRECTOR JULIA PASCAL

Playwright and director Julia Pascal trained and worked as an actor before coming to public attention as the first woman director at the National Theatre with Men Seldom Make Passes, her adaptation of Dorothy Parker’s writings, which ran for two years as a Platform Performance. She has directed new writing by Seamus Finnegan, Carole Rumens, Melanie Phillips and Yana Stajno. She directed Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker for the British Council. As Associate Director of The Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, she directed works by Howard Brenton, Bertolt Brecht and Fay Weldon. 
Her plays have been seen internationally including France, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Ireland and in New York City at the Lincoln Centre’s Director’s Lab and Theatre for the New City. Her plays include The Holocaust Trilogy –Theresa, A Dead Woman On Holiday and The Dybbuk (New End Theatre, Hampstead and European Tour), The Yiddish Queen Lear (Southwark Playhouse), Woman In The Moon (Arcola Theatre), The Golem (Purcell Room), St Joan (New End Theatre, Hampstead, Paris and Edinburgh Festival), Year Zero (Maubeuge, France, and The Junction, Cambridge), The Shylock Play (Arcola Theatre), Honeypot (New Diorama Theatre), Nineveh (Riverside Studios), an adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s novel Villette (The British Library), Crossing Jerusalem, commissioned by the Tricycle Theatre (Tricycle Theatre and Park Theatre) and Old Newland, commission and presented by Theatre Delicatessen. Her many awards include the Dan I Rodden Jr Play Award for Blueprint Medea; whilst Theresa won a BBC Alfred Bradley Prize and the radio version was nominated for the Sony Prize. Julia has been awarded the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) Fellowship and grants from The European Association for Jewish Culture, The Leverhulme Trust as Writer in Residence at the Wiener Library, The Moondance Columbine Prize for Crossing Jerusalem, The Arts Council, The Oppenheim John-Downes Memorial Trust, 2000, The Goethe Institute and The Alfred Bradley Prize. Her texts are published by Oberon Books, Faber and Virago. She was awarded her PhD from the University of York in 2016. Currently she is a Research Fellow at King’s College, University of London, and teaches Dramatic Writing on City University’s MA course. Pascal Theatre Company is currently funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the project Discovering and Documenting England’s Lost Jews. www.pascal-theatre.com

ABOUT THE CAST

Tiran Aakel | UK Border Guard, Bakhtiah, Homeless Man, Sahir

Trained at East 15 Acting School.
Theatre includes The Jungle (The Young Vic and National Theatre), Burkas and Bacon Butties (Vault Festival), Time's Up! (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford), I Was Looking At The Ceiling And Then I Saw The Sky (Southwark Playhouse and Linbury Studio), Beyond Therapy (Etcetera Theatre) and Ooh Ah Showab Khan (Arc Theatre, Trowbridge).
Film includes Pretty Music for Ugly People, Regret Button and I'm No Stranger.
Television includes Panorama, EastEnders, Casualty and The Bill.
Tiran also works in Corporate Role Play Training, Radio and Voice-Overs.

Ruth D’Silva | Medea

Studied at the University of Lancaster, and trained at Drama Studio London
Theatre includes Romeo and Juliet (Westminster Theatre), London Continental (Arcola Theatre), Tales of Muslim Lands (Shakespeare’s Globe), Transmissions (Birmingham Repertory Theatre), The Lovers, Boundaries (Gielgud Theatre) and The Manual Oracle (The Yard).
Film includes A Distant Mirage.
Radio includes Whitechapel Dreams.

Shaniaz Hama-Ali | Glauke, Military Trainer

Trained at The Actors Centre and Pinewood Studios.
Film includes Practice and Red Snake.
Television includes The Bureau.
Writing include a story credit for the short film Practice, and her one-woman show The Big Lie (Edinburgh Festival Fringe) where it was nominated for Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award and is now in development for Soho Theatre.

Amanda Maud | Suzy, Teacher, Eidya

Trained at New York University and the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, New York City.
Theatre includes Becoming Berenice (Forge Theatre and Voila! Europe Festival), Tamburlaine (Yellow Earth Theatre at Arcola Theatre), The Elephant Song (Karamel Klub), The Inspectors Call (Teatro Technis), Last Days of Limehouse (Yellow Earth Theatre), Belle of Bonavista Bay (Forest Forge Theatre), The Evidence (New Perspectives Theatre), The Crow Scarers, Entrenched and Trail of Tears (Twisting Yarn), Macbeth (Gateway Theatre, Chester), Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Othello (New Perspectives Theatre, US), Taking a Liberty (Contact Theatre, Manchester), Blood Wedding and The Persians (Ancient Mask Repertory Theatre).
Film includes Justice League, Orphan of Zhao Redux and Red Lipstick.
Radio includes The Odyssey Project - Telemachus.

Max Rinehart | Jason

Theatre includes Kompromat (Vault Festival), A Girl In A Car With A Man (Contact Theatre, Manchester) and Spring Awakening (Salford Arts Theatre, Salford).
Film includes Imogen, The Bad Education Movie and Miss You Already.
Television includes Drifters, Jekyll and Hyde and Bad Education.

THE PRESS ON BLUEPRINT MEDEA

“A hard-hitting but compelling evening.” Robert Jackman, Spectator Life

“The play, written and directed by Julia Pascal – and enjoying its world premiere at the Finborough Theatre – is powerful fare.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“[Blueprint Medea] successfully spans vastly different worlds and cultural expectations all within the tiny intimate space that is the stage of the Finborough Theatre.” Dominica Plummer, The Spy in the Stalls

“Blueprint Medea is a multifaceted and complex drama, and is capable of making a connection with audiences wherever they may be.” Dominica Plummer, The Spy in the Stalls

“[Blueprint Medea] provides a powerful and hard-hitting female tale inspired by direct interviews with Kurdish freedom fighters, perfect for the intimacy and simplicity of fringe theatre.” Francis Nash, The Upcoming

“But there is more to this intriguing version than a straight transposition to a modern setting. The inspiration came from Pascal’s interview with a Kurdish refugee and also from the real life story of Asia Ramazan Antar and the Kurdish Women’s Protection Units, which aim to establish female independence as well as fighting for a Kurdish state.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“In Julia Pascal’s modern reconception of the ancient Greek tragedy, she is reborn as a former fighter for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)…It is an inspired transposition, and the themes of exile and female agency resonate in the modern day.” Arifa Akbar, The Guardian

“An engaging and dynamic production, admirable for its risk-taking and originality of vision.” Arifa Akbar, The Guardian

“A modern adaptation of Euripides’s devastating Greek tragedy, in which a scorned wife exacts bloody and heartbreaking revenge. Julia Pascal’s new version draws heavily on interviews with Kurds living in the UK and explores issues around immigration, cultural identity and female autonomy” Andrew Pulver, Michael Cragg, John Fordham, Andrew Clements, Jonathan Jones, Miriam Gillinson and Lyndsey Winship, The Guardian.

“The script becomes beautifully laced with Lorcaesque poetry.” Francis Nash, The Upcoming

“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.” Francis Nash, The Upcoming

“The undeniable richness and power of the storytelling and performances.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“Pascal’s writing style skilfully combines the demotic with the poetic.” Judi Herman, Jewish Renaissance

“There is some exquisite singing – and along the way plenty of shrouds, guns and wedding headpieces. Indeed, the play fires into life when they are as one – either as Kurdish fighters under siege or as newcomers to the UK learning the English language.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Strong individual performances and moments of beautiful storytelling.” Emma Lamond, London Pub Theatres

“Tiran Aakel nearly tears up Kati Hind’s eye-catching set with an intense and savage performance.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“Aakel is exceptional as Jason’s father.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Ruth D’Silva plays a striking and captivating Medea.” Emma Lamond, London Pub Theatres

“Ruth D’Silva is captivating as a passionate Medea.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“Medea, played with integrity, passion and dignity by Ruth D’Silva.” Judi Herman, Jewish Renaissance

“The cocksure and cavalier Jason (bullishly portrayed by Max Rinehart).” Francis Nash, The Upcoming

“Max Rinehart is perfect as the careless Jason Mohammed.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“A feisty Shaniaz Hama Ali.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“Amanda Maud giving a moving performance.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“The muscular direction of Julia Pascal.” Dominica Plummer, The Spy in the Stalls

“James Peter Moffatt’s music and sound design intensifies the mood and atmosphere of an unflinching, unsettling drama.” Judi Herman, Jewish Renaissance

“The Finborough Theatre is one of the gems of London’s theatre scene.” Robert Jackman, Spectator Life

THE PRESS ON JULIA PASCAL

“Exceptional.” The New York Times on The Dybbuk

“A viscerally potent drama of love, grief and death.” Time Out on The Dybbuk

“A dazzling cabaret that brings tears to the cheeks.” The Stage on Year Zero

“A tense and stirring piece of theatre.” The Times on Theresa

“Pascal has long interrogated Jewish attitudes and experiences without ever denigrating them. Here, too, she is even-handed. Israelis and Palestinians – all are subjected to the unblinking gaze of Pascal’s writing.” Times Higher Education Supplement on Crossing Jerusalem

“So organised in time and space that it acquires the kind of austere beauty and rhetorical tension we associate with the tragedies of Racine.” The Financial Times on A Dead Woman on Holiday

“The most astounding and affecting piece of new writing I have seen this year.” The Stage on Honeypot


“I’m moved and haunted by Nineveh. One can’t pay a play a greater compliment.” Lady Antonia Fraser

“An ambitious script where not a word is wasted.” The Stage on Nineveh

“Brave, intelligent and desperately moving.” The Guardian on Woman in the Moon

“This play is an affecting and eclectic treat.” Evening Standard on The Yiddish Queen Lear

TICKETS AND TIMES

Tuesday, 21 May – Saturday, 8 June 2019

Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm.
Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3.00pm.

Performance Length: 90 minutes, with no interval.

Prices until 26 May 2019

Tickets £18, £16 concessions

except Tuesday evenings £16 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £18 all seats.
Previews (21 and 22 May 2019) £14 all seats.

£10 tickets for Under 30's for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only.

£14 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on Saturday, 26 May 2019 when booked online only.

Prices from 28 May 2019

Tickets £20, £18 concessions

except Tuesday evenings £18 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £20 all seats. 

For details of our Returns Policy for sold out performances, please click here

PLEASE NOTE THAT LATECOMERS CANNOT BE ADMITTED AND TICKETS CANNOT BE EXCHANGED OR REFUNDED.

BUY TICKETS ONLINE NOW

Book Tickets for Blueprint Medea

Tuesday, 21 May – Saturday, 8 June 2019

Please note that if a show is marked as Sold Out, there are no more tickets available. Please do NOT contact the theatre as we have no more tickets left for these shows. Please see our returns and exchanges policy for more information.

Written and Directed by Julia Pascal

Designed by Kati Hind

Presented by Pascal Theatre Company in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre.

Tiran Aakel

Ruth D’Silva

Shaniaz Hama Ali

Amanda Maud

Max Rinehart