Ground-breaking production of Ancient Greek classic

Actors of Dionysus take Sophocles' ancient Greek classic Antigone and place it into a dystopian world where fate is written in code and drones flock across the skies.

Saturday, 14th October 2017, 8:37 am
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 5:23 pm
Antigone. (c) Alex Brenner ([email protected])

Directed by AOD’s artistic director Tamsin Shasha and written by British-American playwright Christopher Adams (Lynchburg and Haunts), this blistering new adaptation (Key Theatre, October 16) begins in the aftermath of a violent battle for the control of Thebes.

Antigone’s two brothers, Polyneices and Eteocles, have both died. The new ruler Creon declares that Eteocles will be honoured, while the rebel Polyneices will not be buried but left in limbo to relive his death over and over again for all eternity. Antigone’s grief turns to defiance. She dares to take a stand for what she believes in and comes up against Creon’s authority.

Actors of Dionysus specialise in new adaptations inspired by ancient Greek drama and Greek myths. They have been producing and touring plays both in the UK and internationally for over 24 years.

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In this ground-breaking production, AOD have created a dystopian Antigone inspired by Sophocles’ original play. On adapting this Greek classic, Tamsin Shasha said: “At the heart of this production is AOD’s desire to challenge audience perceptions and transform ancient themes into relevant, urgent, and powerful theatre. We want this intrinsic part of our dramatic heritage to remain accessible to modern audiences.”

The company were awarded Arts Council funding for the research and development phase of Antigone and during early exploration workshops they were inspired by Sci-Fi films like Tom Cruise’s Minority Report and by Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror TV series. This led the company to create a new ground-breaking adaptation which makes use of some unusual technology.

Associate Director Deirdre Daly said: “We will use real drones in this production - all seeing drones which hover around the stage, spying on every move the characters make, and sending reports back to the authorities.’’

The play features movement choreography by Ally Cologna (Brouhaha and Haste Theatre) and the music is composed by Matt Eaton (Medea, Helen with AOD and The History Boys, UK tour). The production is designed by Helen Coyston (Goth Weekend, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Our Mutual Friend, Hull Truck Theatre).

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Photos: Alex Brenner