Last night Gary Cordingly returned to his old stamping ground to retell the story of Medusa with a contemporary twist. Peppered with characters, old and new, the story revealed the silence and suffering of women but also, through the introduction of a contemporary casting couch in Miami, how little has changed.
The story was episodic, interweaving Perseus, Medusa and Carly with changes in metre and sound effects, as devices to change the mood, which worked very well.
The Greek myths are labyrinthine, littered with myriad characters misusing their powers and impulsively acting out historic grudges with little thought of the consequences. (Sound familiar?). Gary carefully navigated us through these relationships with his focus on the power inequalities.
And that was the point. The theme that Gary explored in his retelling was the enduring degradation of women at the hands of men. The message was stark and troubling.
During the follow up discussion it became clear that there was a lot to be said: Questions revealed contradictions encapsulated for me by the repeated statement in the story, “This is the story of Perseus, but it is not his story”. Whose story was it in the end?
This retelling is Gary’s response to the “Me Too” movement and how he can use his voice for change and I applaud that. We all knew that this is a work in progress and that we had a part to play in its making. There were lots of suggestions from the floor and the discussion was wide ranging and informed.
Many thanks to Gary, this undertaking is huge and I hope that we all helped him on his journey. He certainly gave us all pause for thought, as well as illustrating that the Greek myths are alive and well today.