A reworked telling of an ancient stage classic is about to make its world premiere in Footscray.
Performer Deborah Leiser-Moore will deliver Medea: Kaddish for the Children, a re-imagining of the tale of one of western literature’s most iconic and tragic figures.
The performance stems from Leiser-Moore’s artistic residencies at both Footscray Community Arts Centre and the Jewish Museum Australia.
Leiser-Moore draws on the classic Euripides Medea text, but in a way that rejects the patriarchal view of Medea as a monstrous witch.
Rather than bringing to stage a straight retelling of the ancient text, the performance also weaves in other elements including the lyrics of Ian Dury and the Blockheads and the Kaddish – the Jewish mourning prayer.
“A lot of my work I bring in my Jewishness, I don’t mean to but it comes out in it,” she said.
“The woman’s perspective is also really important in my work.”
So after 2500 years, Medea is finally allowed to mourn, expressing deep grief surrounding the loss of her home, her children and her identity.
Appearing opposite Leiser-Moore will be her life partner Richard Moore, the former director of the the Melbourne International Film Festival and the Brisbane Film Festival returning to the stage after 20 years.
Leiser-Moore said the work is very visual and physical, creating a strong interplay between images and the body.
“The body is a very important part and the visual is a very important part as well,” she said.
“There is also collaboration with the audience, to make sure they are engaged with the performance.”
Medea: Kaddish for the Children will be at FCAC from February 28 to March 9. Tickets $20-35. Bookings: www.footscrayarts.com