Review | Black Swan STC’s ‘Medea’ is a bittersweet reinvention

Medea | State Theatre Centre | til Aug 25 | ★ ★ ★ ½ 

Considered one of Euripides’ best, and most popular works in Western canon, Medea has undergone a new age make-over with the help of WA’s own Kate Mulvany, and Anne-Louise Sarks. Based upon the original myth of Jason and Medea, with emphasis on her revenge plot against her adulterer husband – this rendition sees the impact it had on their children.

Told from their perspective, Leon (Jesse Vakatini) and Jasper (Jelen Hewitt) transport the audience back to the early days of our own childhood, with the help of an intricate set design and immersive performances filled with daring-do and imaginative adventures – as we live out their final hour in this ancient tragedy.

So easily we find ourselves lost in the games the brother’s play, as they speculate about their parent’s arguments, all the while aware of a darkness which appears in their mother each time she enters the bedroom.

“Ultimately, that’s what the tragedy of Medea really is: that the innocence of childhood can be so abruptly stolen away by the choices of adults,” says Kate Mulvany.

Alexandria Steffensen brings an emotionally wrought imagining of the titular character, as we follow her vengeful spiral, driven by a love of her family – leading to an ultimate evil. With a slow burn, and an explosive ending, Medea is a roller coaster of hard-hitting emotions from start to finish.

Though a story stemming from a mythological tale (431 B.C.), Medea provides relatable themes and experiences which resonate with all audiences – from social media jokes, chickens with lips, and the baffling choice of soap as a gift – no matter your understanding of the source material, you’ll be left reeling after this heart-stopping performance.

Medea will play until 25 August, so be sure to see it before tickets run out! Tickets available from

Joshua Haines
Images:- Philip Gostelow