“It’s about how if you squash identity and minority, then there must – at some point – be an explosion.”

Sarah Chew is describing the theme of Medea, the production she is directing for Critical Mass at the Fringe this year.

“It’s a modern telling of the classic,” she says, “but true to Euripides: it’s still in verse, it still features Greek Gods; but the language is colloquial and the setting has modern overtones.”

Written by Orange Prize nominated Stella Duffy, Medea draws on the company’s wide experiences to help tell its tale.

“I’ve been inspired by my own time in Iran,” says Sarah, “whilst Nadira [Janikova, who stars as Medea] is from Uzbekistan; and has drawn on her own experience of coming to somewhere as a ‘foreigner’. And our setting isn’t a real identifiable location: it has elements of England, of Iran and other places.”

“We’re aiming to tell the story in a very human and relevant way: even our chorus has parallels with the modern world’s function of being a witness to events – following things as they unfold on the internet and twitter.”

“Stella is passionate about story and character, and the direction features music and physical performance too. Edinburgh is Medea’s debut – it’s absolutely fresh and it’s very exciting.”

Sarah herself has been to Edinburgh many times previously.

“It’s my fourteenth or fifteenth Fringe,” she says. “It’s such an intense month – but the sheer joy of being around so much inspiration for that period is a delight. It’s like a conference of creative people!”

You can see Medea from 3-29 Aug at 18:30 at Assembly George Square. More details are on the Fringe website.

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