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Citizens Theatre


WORLD PREMIERE This startlingly modern version of Euripides’ classic tragedy explores how in today’s world a mother, fuelled by anger at her husband’s infidelity, might be driven to commit the worst possible crime. A new version by Mike Bartlett. Featuring Rachael Stirling as Medea. Watch trailer.

If there’s a God, which at the moment I DOUBT, I want you to curse him.
If there’s any justice, I want them – both of them - in a car crash.

Her husband’s gone and her future isn’t bright. Imprisoned in her marital home, Medea can’t work, can’t sleep, and increasingly can’t cope. While her child plays, she plots her revenge.

Receiving its world premiere at the Citizens, the production is written and directed by one of the UK’s most exciting and in demand young writers Mike Bartlett, who has received critical acclaim for his plays including Earthquakes in London, Cock (Olivier Award), a new stage version of Chariots of Fire and Love Love Love.

A co-production from Citizens Theatre, Headlong and Watford Palace Theatre in association with Warwick Arts Centre.

The Citizens is delighted to be working with Headlong again, following the hit collaboration Angels in America. Headlong also recently brought A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness to the theatre.


Thu 11 October
in the main auditorium

See Resources for a “Learn More” pack.

A modern version of Euripides’ classic tale by in-demand young writer Mike Bartlett

Main Theatre

View seating plan

    User Rating

    Rated: (5/5), based on 4 ratings

Previews 27-29 Sept
Audio Described 3 Oct
Signed 4 Oct
Captioned 11 Oct
Wheelchair Access
Guide Dogs welcome
Induction Loop

Recommended for 12+

100 50p tickets for Medea will go on sale (in person at the box office) at 10am on Sat 22 September.

Save up to 25% when you buy for Medea, Glasgow Girls and Takin' Over the Asylum together. Phone Box Office to book.

See pricing for more info on concessions, 50p Tickets and The Season Pass.

Cast and Creative Team >


Rachael Stirling - Medea
Paul Brendan - Workman
Lu Corfield - Sarah
Christopher Ettridge - Carter
Adam Levy - Jason
Amelia Lowdell - Pam
Paul Shelley - Andrew


Written by Mike Bartlett

Based on the original story by Euripides

Director – Mike Bartlett

Designer – Ruari Murchison

Lighting Designer – Johanna Town
Composer and Sound Designer – Tom Mills

Associate Director - Kate Hewitt


“In Rachael Stirling, Bartlett…has found a Medea who can both convince as a contemporary woman scorned and reach the dramatic heights the plot demands.”
The Independent

“Tom Mills’ soundscape adds a filmic layer to the already considerable drama. The speech-free sequence in which Meddea prepares fish fingers and frozen peas for the traumatised Tom to David Bowie’s “Aladdin Sane”…made me feel sick. In a good way.”
The Independent

“this brave and brilliant new version of the play…seems to be walking a high-wire between breathtaking genius and complete absurdity, the sense of danger only makes the spectacle more exciting, and Rachael Stirling’s central performance as Medea more thrilling to watch.”
The Scotsman

“Twenty years ago, Diana Rigg gave an award-winning performance as Medea. I saw that production…and I can say with some conviction that her daughter, Rachael Stirling, gives a performance every bit as thrilling in the same role in this new production.”
The Times

“Bartlett’s chicken and egg question is whether it is the fear or the rage that drives Medea. It easily justifies its updating as Stirling paces and glowers, caught between both emotions.”
The Stage

“Bartlett doesn’t just transfer Euripides to the modern world – he exposes him to the full weight of post-Freudian psychology.”
The Guardian

“Stirling’s remarkable portrayal of the anti-heroine is simultaneously, disconcertingly erratic and frighteningly implacable.”
The Telegraph

“Stirling is a force of nature as she spars with Adam Levy’s Jason”
The Herald

Herald interview with lead actress Rachael Stirling

Sunday Herald interview with writer and director, Mike Bartlett

The List magazine preview piece with Mike Bartlett

See Audience Feedback from Twitter and more on Storify.


Linda Lovat

5th October 2012

We absolutely loved it! An amazing set, excellent acting - the best piece of theatre we've seen this year.

Gillian Ferguson

3rd October 2012

What an excellent night at The Citz! Medea proved to be a fantastic piece of theatre; a great mix of tense and emotional drama yet also extremely funny at moments. The actors were great, portraying characters that we may know, or can at least imagine in today's world, and the plot was extremely current. I was hooked!


29th September 2012

An excellent piece of theatre. The classic tale has been converted to a modern day tragedy, but still manages to remain spine chilling.

Lauren Humphreys

28th September 2012

This emotive and affecting new version of Euripides' Medea is a piece of theatre that speaks powerfully to its audience. Mike Bartlett is a writer of rare form and his arresting approach to storytelling packs an emotional punch. The dialogue is razor-sharp and the pacing perfect. Rachael Stirling is exceptional and her electrifying portrayal of Medea is the highlight of the evening. This is a hugely accomplished piece of theatre impressively executed. The combination of Bartlett, Stirling and The Citizens makes for an unmissable night at the theatre.

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