Modern twist on classic tale.
PILOT Theatre has brought a fresh adaptation of Sophocles' great tragedy Antigone.
Written by acclaimed playwright Roy Williams, over the course of 90 minutes the audience at the LBT - many of them teenagers and young people - were treated to a spectacle for both the eyes and the ears.
Creo, played by Mark Monero, is a menace and a true force to be reckoned with when individuals oppose his rule and his orders - which is exactly what Antigone, or Tig for short, does.
She is his niece, brought to life by Savannah Gordon-Lidburn, and chooses to risk everything in order to cover her brother, Orrin, who was left dead in the streets of Thebes.
Unable to accept this direct objection to his commands, he has her thrown in the cellar to await her death. Savannah gives an utterly convincing performance, no matter what scene she is playing out. Her voice breaks with emotion when she's close to tears and it's strong and firm when she declares to Creo: "I don't fear you."
The language, no longer old-fashioned, allows the audience to follow the story with relative ease, finding humorous moments between Creo and his three 'hunchmen', while reminding everyone of the bonds and difficulties that existed - and continue to exist - between family members to this day.
Every tale often has a love story buried within it, though here it's clear almost the start. As the son of the city's most powerful man, Eamon (Gamba Cole) is torn between respecting the wishes of his parents and standing by the girl he loves and risking it all. In the end, love conquers fear.
Tyrese, played by Oliver Wilson, is by far the most entertaining character in the cast and serves as a reminder of the perils of violence and warfare. He is blind, but wise and trusted. Pleading for Creo to show some humanity to Tig in a speech that visibly impacts one of his henchmen, his words have some effect, though sadly it comes a little too late.
Doreen Blackstock as Creo's wife Eunice is, for much of the play, the only individual out of all those around him, to stand for what he does. That is until she has a showdown with her son and slowly she emerges, perhaps not with a complete acceptance of how he feels, but certainly more of an understanding. By the end, mourning her son, she and her husband are at breaking point and he is left alone as she finally turns her back on him.
The production closes with Tig's sister Esme (Frieda Thiel) under-looked throughout much of the performance, embodying what it means to be forgiving and generous even in the hardest of times to those who others wouldn't look at as she gives a drink and a blanket to a broken Creo as he lies on the floor.
In bringing this classic to a new audience with a new perspective, Antigone is a production which speaks volumes and should entice many more to discover the history and the stories behind more of the great Greek works.
Antigone runs at the LBT until Saturday with performances starting at 7.30pm.
Pilot Theatre |production of the ancient Greek tragedy
REVIEW PRODUCTION: Antigone COMPANY: Pilot Theatre at The LBT REVIEW: Rebecca Haslam