Following a short UK tour, Pecho Mama have brought their acclaimed show Medea Electronica to Edinburgh Festival Fringe for one week only. Part theatre, part gig, they will be based at Pleasance 2 in the Pleasance Courtyard until Sunday for their 80s reimagination of the Greek legend of Medea.
Medea is married to Jason East, who runs Creon Incorporated, and they’ve just moved away from London with their two sons (Michael & Peter) as Jason’s father has recently died. The children aren’t too happy at the move, particularly Michael – he can’t seem to settle at his new school and the headteacher has become concerned. Not only does Medea have this to worry about, but Jason never seems to be around anymore, instead staying over at Danny’s and dodging his wife’s phonecalls. She starts to become a bit suspicious, but hopes that it’s just a temporary adverse effect of Jason’s grief – little does she know that her world is about to come crashing down around her in spectacular fashion…
This is a show that truly has to be seen to be believed. It’s difficult to describe the intensity that engulfs the room, from the very first pulse of synthesiser to Medea’s dramatic final actions. The music represents the emotional heart of the piece, and it’s pretty tense from the beginning (with the strain of the family’s new start) – but it slowly builds and builds in a dazzling electro crescendo until Medea strains at the leash no more. She frees herself from the constraints & expectations of her status as wife, and prepares to exact her bloody revenge on the man who has so terribly wronged her.
Reverb and loops are used to excellent effect, providing greater depth to the sound and intensifying the vocals; considering there are only three people onstage (Mella Faye as Medea & on vocals, Sam Cox on drums, and Alex Stanford on keyboards & sound garden) a terrific amount & range of sound is produced. It’s an incredibly visceral aural representation of Medea’s emotions in turmoil, and feeling the beat pulse through you brings the experience right home.
It really is a powerhouse performance from Faye. Other characters are brought in by voiceover, and she interacts with these recordings with great skill – it’s a clever idea to ensure many different characters are included, whilst retaining a stripped back setup. A gripping and masterfully performed show.
My verdict? A visceral & emotional experience, as music & legend clash to create a gripping story – masterfully performed, and must be seen to be believed.
Medea Electronica runs at Pleasance Courtyard (Pleasance 2) until 19 August 2018 (6.30pm, 1 hour). Tickets are available online or from the box office.