By Kimoy Leon Sing (Originally Published to the Trinidad Express on Feb 9th, 2017)
You know the saying, “Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned” and the people behind Carnival Medea – a bacchanal says they plan to deliver all that and more.
The play is a Trinidadian manifestation of the original Greek tragedy, Medea done by Euripedes more than 2,500 years ago. Written by Dr Shirlene Holmes, a professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta, USA and Trinidad-born/Canada base playwright, Rhoma Spencer, Carnival Medea exudes the nuances of Trinidad Carnival, the vibrancy of its people and humor while exploring the forces behind infidelity.
The play which is based on Greek literature tells the tragic story of Medea. Forsaken by her husband, Jason for a younger woman, who he then takes as his bride. Medea in her quest to take revenge for her pain and despair, plots to kill his new wife via a cape she actually gives her children to take to him; to take to his new bride as a wedding gift. Medea’s anguish and rage is so deep; she also kills her two sons. This is the original Greek tragedy, and though for some audiences the topic might be too dark, Holmes and Spencer is able to depict some of the heart-stopping scenes with a deft hand while putting their own twist to the ancient Greek myth.
Proud of the achievement of her team, and a play which took more than 13 years to come to fruition, Spencer said, she is thrilled to finally premiere, Carnival Medea – a bacchanal in the land of her birth. For Spencer, Tobago holds a dear place in her heart having spent most of her childhood at Scarborough RC and then Scarborough Government Secondary. She later transferred to Tunapuna Government Secondary. She then lived in Tunapuna and Arima for a short time until migrating to Toronto, Canada where she currently resides.
After a world premiere at Georgia State University’s Dahlberg Hall in Atlanta, directed by Keith Timms, and rave reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, Carnival Medea — a bacchanal made its Caribbean premiere at the Little Carib Theatre last night and continues until March 5.