★★★★ ‘How stimulating it is to see such directorial invention’ Evening Standard
★★★★ ‘Tom Littler’s production has a gripping and committed intensity’ Sunday Express
‘Compelling … Jamie Glover’s Kreon is an engaging, enigmatic and powerful portrayal of a ruler in crisis’ Whatsonstage
‘Eleanor Wyld’s Antigone is suitably passionate and willful … The bright costumes are beautiful, as is Claire-Monique Martin’s voice as the chorus singer’ The Telegraph
Following years of oppressive rule and violent insurgency, the Middle Eastern city-state of Thebes has arrived at a crisis-point. Two brothers, both hungry for power, have killed each other in a bloody battle just outside the city. As dawn breaks over Thebes the new leader, General Kreon, and his Western allies decide enough is enough. One of the brothers will be buried with full honours. The other will be left to rot in the sand as a warning to all.
As the streets begin to return to normal and the dust settles, the last person Kreon expects to defy him is his own niece: Antigone.
Primavera’s gripping new production of Antigone brings this ancient classic bang up-to-date as a direct response to the ongoing events of the Arab Spring. With leaders across the Middle East struggling to suppress rebellion, Sophocles’ drama has a startling relevance in today’s world. With a full-scale chorus, a newly commissioned musical score and a terrific cast, Antigone is an inspiring tale for our times.
Jamie Glover plays Kreon. Glover is best known for his role as Andrew Treneman in Waterloo Road. Glover’s extensive theatre career includes All’s Well that Ends Well and The Chalk Garden. One of Britain’s most distinguished stage actors, Edward Petherbridge, plays the prophet Tiresias. Petherbridge has won Olivier and Critics’ Circle Awards and has twice been nominated for the Tony Award. Antigone is played by newcomer Eleanor Wyld. Wyld, whose previous experience includes ITV’s Honest and The Deep Blue Sea for the West Yorkshire Playhouse, graduated from Guildhall School of Music and Drama last year. Eurydike, Kreon’s wife, is played by Deborah Grant, well-known from TV drama such as Bergerac, Bouquet of Barbed Wire, and Peak Practice. They are joined by Daisy Ashford as Ismene, Kane Sharpe as Haimon, Christopher Ragland as the Guard, and Fanos Xenofos as the Messenger. There is a 15-strong Chorus drawn from a mixture of professional actors and the local community.
Antigone was written around 442BCE by the Greek dramatist Sophocles. Widely acknowledged as a master of tragedy, Sophocles’ other plays include Oedipus and Oedipus at Colonus. The translation being performed at Southwark Playhouse is by Timberlake Wertenbaker. Written in 1991, her translation was acclaimed as ‘powerfully dramatic’ (Sunday Times). Wertenbaker is one of Britain’s best-loved playwrights; her other plays include Our Country’s Good.
Primavera and Jagged Fence are both returning to Southwark Playhouse. Primavera associate-produced The Rivals, with Celia Imrie, while Jagged Fence produced the highly acclaimed The Hostage, both in spring 2010.
Monday, 13 June at 7.15pm
- Pre-Show Talk given by Cynthia Lawford
Dr. Cynthia Lawford will give a free 20-minute talk on how Athenian audiences experienced Antigone in the fifth century BCE: their understanding of the myths behind the play, the role of women and duties to the gods in burial rites, and their sacred obligation to obey the laws.
Tuesday, 14 June at 9.30pm
- Post-Show Discussion with Edward Petherbridge
Following his sell-out solo Platform at the National Theatre, Edward Petherbridge (Tiresias) will be on stage in the Main House to discuss and read excerpts from his newly published book Slim Chances and Unscheduled Appearances.
This unique autobiographical anthology of prose, verse and artwork, detailing over half a century of theatre, is a wonderfully entertaining, incisive and often moving exposition of the very heart of the mystery of acting.
A book-signing will follow the event.
Imanuel Orwi Ameh