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Medea (National Theatre of Scotland version)

Medea (National Theatre of Scotland version)

By Euripides
Adapted by Liz Lochhead
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Paperback : 9781839041150, 64 pages, August 2022


Medea and Jason, clinging together as refugees in Corinth, have struggled to bring up their beloved offspring in this alien and unsympathetic society. Now Jason has a plan to better integrate himself. Unfortunately, this involves abandoning his wife, the mother of his children…

Spurned, destitute, desperate, Medea exacts her terrible retribution.

Liz Lochhead's Scots-inflected version of Euripides' classic revenge tragedy was first performed by Theatre Babel in 2000 and won the Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year Award. It was revived by the National Theatre of Scotland as part of the 2022 Edinburgh International Festival, with Adura Onashile as Medea, directed by Michael Boyd.


"Some of the most exciting recent work on Greek drama in the English language."

- Sunday Times

"Awesome... Liz Lochhead's Scots verse spits wit and venom as male power meets female determination with operatic intensity."

- Guardian

"A breathtaking interpretation of the Greek tragedy... the addition of snarling Scottish dialect works brilliantly, adding extra layers of menace and seduction to the shocking tragedy... Transfixing, bloody, and reeking of danger, with images that will linger in your mind for hours after ending."

- Time Out

"Liz Lochhead's celebrated adaptation... a formidable, immersive experience."

- The Times

"Magnificent, thrilling... Lochhead's brilliant and scathing Scots-language version of Euripides' mighty text [has] a simmering and terrifying eloquence."

- Scotsman

"Raw and brutal... Liz Lochhead's version seeks, like all good contemporary productions of Greek theatre, to trace how its universality can speak to us today."

- WhatsOnStage

"Terrific... The beauty of Lochhead's version is not just its dark sardonic humour, but also in the way it is entirely female-centred... Medea [is] far more than a woman spurned. She's a woman caught in a patriarchal society where women are devalued by men, considered fair game and judged by other women if they do not conform. She makes her decisions with that in mind – with a terrible clarity. Lochhead and Onashile make us understand those choices. Then they make us weep."

- The Stage

"Liz Lochhead's razor-sharp adaptation of Euripides' Medea is forged in fire... still searingly relevant and painfully urgent."

- Broadway World

"This outstanding work should firmly establish the Glasgow playwright as Scotland's greatest living dramatist... the finest piece I have seen on the Scottish stage this year."

- Scotland on Sunday

"Liz Lochhead's stunning new version of Medea is the kind of interpretation – brave, visionary, risky – that blows a well-known text apart and reassembles it in a completely new light... ancient but new, cosmic yet agonisingly familiar."

- Scotsman