Festival Internacional de Teatro Clasico de Merida, 2009

Writer: Euripides
Director: Tomaž Pandur

Staged against a former ruin of a Roman amphi-theatre, reconstructed back into magnificence during Francoist era, the set for "Medea" had a difficult task to overrule the visual and historical strength of the existing context.

Medea herself is a demanding character, a destructive blood sorceress in mystical connection with the elements whose chthonic power had to be captured in the layout of her ritual space. 

This was achieved by erecting an axis mundi (the shamanic "celestial pole" that connects Earth to Heavens) - with a long strip of black cloth tied to the invisible black zeppelin 60 meters above ground and looming over the surroundings like a vertical omen stretched from the centre of the straw labyrinth. 

Labyrinth is by nature mythical and it is through its meandering paths that Medea descends into her hypnotic rapture to open the axis and thus weaken the boundaries of the real. 

Straw, on the other hand, has both rural and primordial symbolism, it is strongly earthbound and pre-cultural, with its golden glow and flossy texture suggesting Jason's Golden Fleece.