This week’s trip to the little theatre by the sea was for Antigone.
Toured by the Brighton-based Actors of Dionysus, it was created by playwright Christopher Adams. Actors of Dionysus aim to “create fresh, bold and urgent interpretations of Classical Greek work.” And they certainly succeeded on Saturday night in Lyme Regis.
I know the play a little having appeared in the Jean Anouilh version at college. This wasn’t quite as far back in history as the Sophocles original but near enough! And yes, of course I was Antigone. People who know me know I can start an argument by walking into a room.
This version, cleverly set in the near future, used references to technology to underline the themes of the play. It was an extremely slick production with a cast of five playing all characters. Antigone is forbidden by her uncle to perform burial rites for her brother, therefore robbing him of his passage to the Underworld. Creon, as stubborn and unbending as his niece, battles with Antigone but neither will give way. Antigone is sentenced to death. Her lover, Creon’s son, commits suicide on hearing of her death and his mother commits suicide soon after. The play ends with Creon a broken man, punished by the gods who have brought him true wisdom – at a cost. The themes of tyrannical power, the individual versus the state and family loyalty remain relevant even two thousand years on. It’s interesting to note that Jean Anouilh produced his version in 1944 as a veiled attack on the Vichy government.
Not a barrel of laughs – but then it was a Greek tragedy! Highly recommended for a thought-provoking night out and it was another well-supported evening for the Marine Theatre.
For more information about Actors of Dionysus here are the linky things: