With a head of poisonous snakes and a murderous gaze, Medusa has come to epitomise female monstrosity. Caravaggio painted her. Shakespeare wrote about her. Freud had a bloody field day. The original myth of Medusa follows the fate of the beautiful maiden Medusa who is turned into a monster by the goddess Athena after she is raped by Poseidon in Athena’s temple. Her hair is turned into snakes and her face becomes so terrible to behold that to look directly at her would turn the onlooker to stone.

Medusa aims to deconstruct this historic tale while challenging stagnant societal attitudes towards feminism. In the midst of the #metoo revelations, it actively protests the idea that the feminist political position is nothing more than a commodity, reflecting the fury that many women living in contemporary New Zealand feel. Central to the creation of Medusa is the potential for art to become a form of activism, where art is an opportunity to address salient world issues affecting real people. It will involve a multidisciplinary collage of deconstructed theatricality, dance, sonic composition and performance art.

Medusa is the result of the ongoing collaborative creative relationship between acclaimed feminist theatre makers Virginia Frankovich, Julia Croft, and Nisha Madhan. The trio have worked together since 2013 and through a variety of projects they have developed a shared process and practice which they continue to refine both collectively and in their individual practice.  Medusa is presented and produced by Zanetti Productions, who has acted as creative producer on a number of these projects and has been key to their critical and commercial success. Joining the creative team will be sound designer Claire Duncan, Meg Rollandi on performance design, Calvin Hudson as lighting designer, production manager Ruby Reihana-Wilson, and Kate Prior as dramaturg.

  • Medusa on at Circa Theatre as part of WTF! 2018, 21 September – 6 October 2018