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REVIEW: Medea on the mic (A Play, A Pie and A Pint)

Updated: Jun 17

Marc Mackinnon in Medea on the mic, A Play, A Pie, A Pint, Glasgow. Photo credit: Tim Morozzo

Medea on the mic

By Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh after Euripides

Directed by Philip Howard


12 June 2024

Òran Mór, Glasgow

⭐⭐⭐⭐




Greek tragedy Medea has been reimagined for a modern audience complete with ex-husband Jason (of the Argonauts), new gal-pal the Chariot Queen, 3-D film loving nuns, plenty of comedy and a sharp Scottish tongue.


In Medea on the mic, writer Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhs has given demigod, Princess and all-round legend Medea control of the microphone. No longer at the mercy of what Euripides has written about her, Medea sets the story straight about what really happened between her and Jason all those years ago, and in doing so, she takes us on a journey of discovery from ancient Greece to Persia via Berlin.


Simply staged, 'Medea on the mic' consists of 3 players, 3 chairs and 3 mics set at a long, dark table. For much of the play, Medea (Hannah Jarrett-Scott) sits alone, telling her tale, setting the world to rights. And she is utterly captivating. Jarrett-Scott's Medea is stunningly beautiful, scorned and Scottish - that's a fierce combination! Medea is the daughter of a King and the granddaughter of a god; she's a Princess and a Sorceress. You can believe all of these things of this Medea; Jarrett-Scott is sublime.


Hannah Jarrett-Scott in Medea on the mic, A Play, A Pie, A Pint, Glasgow. Photo credit: Tim Morozzo

Medea meets Jason (of the Argonauts fame) and helps him in his quest for the Golden Fleece. The two eventually marry and have twin boys - but, in a tale as old as time, Jason thinks the grass is greener elsewhere and abandons Medea. How very dare he! Jason (Reuben Joseph) does not come off well in this tale. But he is played admirably by Joseph who sometimes does no more than sulk silently beside Medea, perfectly conveying a brooding, spoiled, man-child through mannerism alone. Joseph's many voice talents are remarkable; from crying babies to banging beats, Joseph provides such realistic 'sound effects' that the audience were turning in their chairs looking for the source.


Marc Mackinnon plays the Chariot Queen, a new character added to the Medea myth by writer Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh. Resplendent in makeup, sequins and a crown, Mackinnon brings sparkle and sass into Medea's life and into the play. This character is a welcome relief from all the, well, tragedy, in this Greek tragedy, and Mackinnon wears it very well. When the three actors sing together, their harmonies are exquisite. What a cast!


Reuben Joseph in Medea on the mic, A Play, A Pie, A Pint, Glasgow. Photo credit: Tim Morozzo

Clever, intricate writing from Nazil Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh is evident from that start of 'Medea on the mic.' So quickly do the cast throw out little nuggets of devastating dialogue, it's impossible to catch every gem. Medea is funny; Her observations and opinions are scorching. But she's damaged and fragile too. This one-hour play is beautifully paced and expertly performed so that we see all of these sides of Medea and more.


There were a few moments, especially during Jason's 'press conference' where the audience didn't understand if they were meant to interact with the questions being asked of them or not, and it felt a little awkward. The nature of this play is that the actors sit behind a mic and talk. But to whom? At one point we understand the conversation is being 'recorded' for later use, another is obviously a press conference, and to begin Medea says "hello, this is the shipping forecast." That's a joke, obviously, but what is she meant to be doing? A podcast, a confession, a Ted Talk? Or are the actors simply talking to us, the live audience? If this could be made a little clearer, that would go a long way to help the audience better understand if they're meant to offer answers or to simply observe.


A brief but beautiful highlight of the show, the side-characters of the nuns (spectacularly played by our three lead actors) are divine creations. Nuns who are obsessed with movies, have all the gossip about Medea and Jason, and who somehow, know all the best sushi joints in Berlin! A little touch of genius from Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh. The nuns, like all of the characters in 'Medea on the mic' speak in a local accent. It doesn't feel odd nor out of place at all for Greek heroes and sorceresses to be Scottish; in fact it rather suits them.


⭐⭐⭐⭐

A Play, A Pie and A Pint Spring 2024. Credit: PPP

Medea on the mic plays at

A Play, A Pie and A Pint - Òran Mór, Glasgow

Monday 10th - Saturday 15th June 2024, 1pm.


📸 Production photos: Tim Morozzo




🌟 You can catch Hannah Jarrett-Scott as Captain Hook in Peter Pan at The King's Theatre, Glasgow from Saturday 23 November 2024 to Sunday 5 January 2025 [add link]


 

Medea on the mic CAST

 

Jason – Reuben Joseph

Chariot Queen – Marc Mackinnon


Medea on the Mic. Photo credit: PPP

 

Medea on the mic review, A Play, A Pie and A Pint, Oran Mor, Glasgow, June 2024. Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh, Philip Howard, Hannah Jarrett-Scott.



📸 Find Lisa in the Theatre on Instagram and Twitter / X 


🎟️ Disclosure: I was invited to review this show and received a complimentary ticket in exchange. Neither the venue nor show has a say in what I write. I'm completely independent and invites have no impact on my analysis or star ratings.


Lisa in the Theatre, Scottish Theatre, UK theatre blogger, reviewer, critic

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