16 April 2019

Blueprint Medea

By Development and Alumni Relations Team

Bedford College alumna, playwright and director, Julia Pascal’s (BA English, 1977) award-winning Blueprint Medea opens at the Finborough Theatre for a three week limited season on Tuesday, 21 May.

Kurdish freedom fighter Medea escapes the Turkish military and arrives at UK Border Control on a forged passport. Slipping through immigration, Medea discovers how to exist on the margins of London life. Working illegally as a cleaner in a gym, she meets Jason-Mohammed, the son of Iraqi immigrants. Their attraction results in the birth of twin boys. Medea believes that she has finally found a new home, a new family and a new life.

But when Jason-Mohammed’s father decides that his son must marry Glauke, an Iraqi cousin, Medea realises that she will lose both her sons and her safe haven in the UK.

As her whole world falls apart, she is forced to accept that she has nothing to lose by revenging herself – destroying the lives who those who have betrayed her and keeping her sons’ spirits with her forever…

Based on interviews with Kurdish fighters living in the UK, and written and directed by the first woman ever to direct at the National Theatre, Blueprint Medea is an award-winning new drama, loosely inspired by Euripides’ Medea, which connects the classical to the contemporary to explore eternal questions of passion, war, cultural identity, women’s freedom, sex, family and love.

Playwright and director Julia Pascal trained and worked as an actor before coming to public attention as the first woman director at the National Theatre with Men Seldom Make Passes, her adaptation of Dorothy Parker’s writings, which ran for two years as a Platform Performance. She has directed new writing by Seamus Finnegan, Carole Rumens, Melanie Phillips and Yana Stajno. She directed Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker for the British Council. As Associate Director of The Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, she directed works by Howard Brenton, Bertolt Brecht and Fay Weldon. Her plays have been seen internationally including France, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Ireland and in New York City at the Lincoln Centre’s Director’s Lab and Theatre for the New City. Her plays include The Holocaust Trilogy –Theresa, A Dead Woman On Holiday and The Dybbuk (New End Theatre, Hampstead and European Tour), The Yiddish Queen Lear (Southwark Playhouse), Woman In The Moon (Arcola Theatre), The Golem (Purcell Room), St Joan (New End Theatre, Hampstead, Paris and Edinburgh Festival), Year Zero (Maubeuge, France, and The Junction, Cambridge), The Shylock Play (Arcola Theatre), Honeypot (New Diorama Theatre), Nineveh (Riverside Studios), an adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s novel Villette (The British Library), Crossing Jerusalem, commissioned by the Tricycle Theatre (Tricycle Theatre and Park Theatre) and Old Newland, commission and presented by Theatre Delicatessen. Her many awards include the Dan I Rodden Jr Play Award for Blueprint Medea; whilst Theresa won a BBC Alfred Bradley Prize and the radio version was
nominated for the Sony Prize. Julia has been awarded the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) Fellowship and grants from The European Association for Jewish Culture, The Leverhulme Trust as Writer in Residence at the Wiener Library, The Moondance Columbine Prize for Crossing Jerusalem, The Arts Council, The Oppenheim John-Downes Memorial Trust, 2000, The Goethe Institute and The Alfred Bradley Prize. Her texts are published by Oberon Books, Faber and Virago. She was awarded her PhD from the University of York in 2016. Currently she is a Research Fellow at King’s College, University of London, and teaches Dramatic Writing on City University’s MA course. Pascal Theatre Company is currently funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the project Discovering and Documenting England’s Lost Jews. www.pascal-theatre.com