Shaw Brings Abbey s Medea to Queen s, 30 JanDate: 22 November 2000
Fiona Shaw returns to the London stage in the new year, playing the title role in the Greek tragedy, Medea. The production, which transfers from Dublin's Abbey Theatre, opens at the Queen's Theatre in the West End on 30 January 2001 (previews from 19 January) and is booking up to 14 April.
The classic tale, written circa 431 AD, explores the psychological complexities of people enduring extreme situations. The plot is a bloody one. When she feels she has been betrayed by her husband, Medea avenges him by killing all around her, including their children.
The last major West End production of Medea was in 1994, when Diana Rigg was nominated for an Olivier for her performance in the title role. Shaw has already taken on Greek drama herself, playing the heroine of Sophocles Electra ten years ago, for which she won an Olivier.
In total, Shaw has won three Best Actress Oliviers as well as Evening Standard and London Critics Circle Awards. Amongst her most notable stage productions, many for the National Theatre, are Shakespeare's Richard II, in which she played the male lead, the stage version of TS Eliot's The Wasteland and the 1998 revival of Jay Presson Allen's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. She has also directed several productions, including George Bernard Shaw's The Widowers Houses, also for the National, last year.
Medea is directed by Deborah Warner, whose many acclaimed operatic productions include The Turn of the Screw and last year's National Theatre and English National Opera co-production of Janacek's The Diary of One Who Vanished.