Close-up: Dylan Tighe

Euripides via Von Trier, with a twist. Can this young director make a hit of myth?
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The Independent Culture

He's a busy man, Dylan Tighe. And he gets around a bit. If he's not in Belgrade recording a solo album of self-penned songs, he's acting or directing in Dublin, London or Budapest. Right now, the 31-year-old actor, musician, director and writer can be found at the Gate Theatre in London preparing his reworking of Medea, Euripides' 431 BC tale of lust, revenge and betrayal.

Not that Tighe's version, called Medea/ Medea, keeps strictly to the classic plot, in which Medea takes vengeance on her errant husband, Jason (of Argonaut fame), by poisoning her love rival and killing her children. Instead, Tighe has taken the Danish film director Lars Von Trier's 1988 version as a starting point. "The play uses the film like a scaffold or X-ray," he says. "It's a technique I use a lot, to start from other art forms and use them as a mould."

Acting since the age of 10, Tighe gained a first in Spanish and Italian at Trinity in Dublin, taking a year out to study drama and film at the radical University of Bologna, before a performance MA at Goldsmiths in 2006. There has followed a list of acting, writing and directing credits as long as your arm. He also boasts a collection of awards – including the Gate's New Directions, allowing him to put Medea/Medea on as a four-week run at the theatre.

"There's a lot of different layers," Tighe says of the play. "There are similarities to Euripides, in that the basic narrative is adhered to, but I change the story too. I'm interested in what a myth means today. Our myths are nationalism, religion, war, consumerism, so I'm using Medea to tell a contemporary story. I think myth is a bad idea, both in society and in theatre, by which I mean convention and cliché."

' Medea/Medea' is at the Gate Theatre, London W11 (020 7229 0706, www.gate, from 18 June to 18 July