La Medea presented with Lo Stupro (the Rape)
by Melynda von Wayward
Reviewed on Sat, 29/03/2014 - 06:33am
Melynda von Wayward Total Reviews: 36
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La Medea presented with Lo Stupro (the Rape)
Theatre review by Lisa Romeo

What: La Medea presented with Lo Stupro (the Rape)
When: March 5 - 9, 2014
Where: La Mama Theatre (Carlton Courthouse)
Adapted and Directed by: Laurence Strangio
Texts by Franca Rame (Lo Stupro) and Franca Rame & Dario Fo (La Medea, after Euripides)
Performed by: Margherita Peluso
Designed by: Laurence Strangio with Bec Etchell

In memory of Franca Rama (1929-2013)

La Medea presented with Lo Stupro (the Rape) is a one woman play of drama and tragedy in two parts: Lo Stupro (The Rape), which was written by Italian writer Franca Rame in 1975 after she was brutally kidnapped and raped, and La Medea, which is reinterpreted by Franca Rame but based on the ancient Greek tragedy written by Euripides and first produced in 431 BC.

The set and props are minimal, the lighting is dim and stark, the stage is small and the audience are gathered close; from the very beginning there is a sense of fear and trepidation.

Lo Stupro (the Rape) - The silhouette of a broken woman sits on a red crumpled rag; through the use of mime and movement she tells her haunting story of the physical and sexual violence perpetrated against her by four men, whilst in the background her tragic experience is narrated by a recorded voice.

In this powerful piece of theatre the audience are taken through the motions of a horrific ordeal, while the brilliant acting of Margherita Peluso captures the pain and hollow feeling of being alone, unable to return home or to trust anyone. Ultimately it is a story that will leave you feeling helpless in the knowledge that justice will not prevail and the victim has suffered in vain.

‚??The most obscene aspect is the terroristic ritual to which a woman is subjected by policemen, doctors, judges and prosecuting lawyers, when she has been raped.‚?Ě Franca Rame

La Medea ‚?? In this classic Greek myth of Jason and Medea the plot centres on the barbaric behaviour of Medea, who finds her position in the world threatened, and thus takes revenge against her husband Jason who has betrayed her for a younger woman.

Again the brilliant, highly dramatized performance of Margherita Peluso, along with her powerful facial expressions and fierce stares, will take you into the mind of a desperate and insane woman. Her loss and despair lead her to take the lives of her own children as an act of revenge, consequently leaving the audience feeling devastated and angry ‚?? but towards whom - the murderess, the unnatural mother, or the oppressive social laws, written by men, against women?

But it matters not because the damage has been done, the revenge has taken place and the audience are forever torn.

With exceptional directing by Laurence Strangio, who has ensured the theatrical quality and completeness of this one woman show, the blend of Italian and English dialogue takes these two tragic dramas to an almost operatic height. And although both plays were written for the day that they were set in, the powerful message that both plays convey - oppression towards women - is just as relevant in today‚??s society as it was over 1000 years ago.
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Melynda von Wayward
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Publisher: Lisa Romeo
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