Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC) and Tashmadada, in association with the Jewish Museum Australia presents the world premiere of Medea: Kaddish for the Children from 28 February as part of the 2019 International Women’s Day program.
Stemming from a three-year artistic residency offered by FCAC and a current residency at Jewish Museum Australia, Medea: Kaddish for the Children is a re-imagining (and re imaging) of the tale of one of Western literature’s most iconic and tragic figures, Medea, played by Deborah Leiser-Moore.
Drawing on the classic Euripides Medea text, the lyrics of Ian Dury and the Blockheads, and the Kaddish – Jewish Mourners Prayer, Deborah dispels the predominantly patriarchal view of Medea as a monstrous witch and presents her drama through a contemporary feminist theatrical lens.
After 2,500 years of denial Medea is allowed to mourn for the first time. She finds a voice to recite the Kaddish and express deep grief surrounding the loss of her home, her children and her identity.
Meanwhile Richard Moore who’s known for his directorship of the Melbourne International Film Festival and the Brisbane Film Festival will return to the stage after 20 years, taking the role of Medea’s male counterpart Jason, who betrays her and is condemned to a machine that never stops.
“Like many who’ve come to Australia’s shores and sacrificed all, it also becomes a Kaddish for children lost in conflicts,” says Deborah Leiser-Moore. “It seems that almost every week now we seem to hear reports that resonate with this story – it’s an eternal, universal and unfortunately, very contemporary drama.”
Following from previous productions The Dead Twin at FCAC and George Town Festival 2017, and KaBooM at George Town Festival 2018, Medea: Kaddish for the Children is performed and produced by Deborah Leiser-Moore and Richard Moore, alongside choreographer Israel Aloni, sound designer Jacques Soddell and vocal coach Susan Bamford-Caleo.
The married couple of over twenty years will test the fundamental Medean dynamics of love, justice and faith against the parameters of their own relationship. “I realised how dangerous this production could be for our relationship when I walked into the local kitchen shop to buy some props and came out with a large cleaver,” said Richard.
Medea: Kaddish for the Children
Footscray Community Arts Centre, 45 Moreland Street, Footscray
Season: 28 February – 9 March 2019
Information and Bookings: www.footscrayarts.com
Image: Deborah Leiser-Moore stars as Medea (supplied)