Medusa: this Halloween's Horror Story
If horror is what you were missing this Halloween, Medusa could not have come at a better time. A crossover between Renegade Productions and Bow and Dagger, the performance was a cultural commentary of the highest relevance and (in classic Renegade style,) most supreme production values. Princess turned priestess turned goddess turned monster, this was Medusa's story as you have never seen it before. Told at the Blueroom Theatre in a series of vignettes, she was louder and prouder than ever. Medusa, unlike I was when I saw this incredible performance, will never be silenced, subdued or seduced.
From frenetic projections to the symbolism of Allen's lolly snakes, the whole shebang was in good hands with director Joe Lui. The sheer, intense energy carried by the impeccable performers throughout the show was chaotic and overwhelming at times, paralleling the onslaught of modern times. The ever-evolving subversion of gender and sexuality, flawlessly characterised by writer Finn O’Branagàin, was also bold and necessary. Particular props go to the dynamic portrayal of the older Medusa by Sandy McKendrick. The standout performance of the evening, McKendrick had the kind of onstage presence that leaves an audience in awe.
Notably, there was an evident attempt to add a lavish spin to inform viewers of the true story of Medusa; the female African warlord. The show was confrontingly graphic in parts; the shock value of some scenes more triggering than educational. If you are already overwhelmed by the sheer horror of reality at the moment, this may not be the show for you. If you aren't, then you have nerves of steel and I highly recommend you see this show if you ever get the chance as it so closely echoes the atrocities that women face today.
To quote Janelle Monaé, Medusa is 'powerful with a little bit of tender' and I feel it left a stain on the audience’s brains. This stain may be healthy; maybe we needed a wakeup call. Or maybe it added to the heaviness we’re all feeling these days. Either way, it was a story worth hearing.