Making Greek tragedies accessible to a modern audience can be hard work but playwright Christopher Adams and Brighton based Actors of Dionysus have risen to this challenge. Aiming to ‘make magic from myth’ they have successfully adapted the Sophocles tragedy, Antigone, breathing new life into this classic tale.
they have successfully adapted the Sophocles tragedy, Antigone, breathing new life into this classic tale
We are taken into a dystopian world where information is instantly accessible through the robotic Archivists, who provided the commentary to Antigone, traditionally spoken by the Chorus. A five-piece ensemble played multiple parts with consummate ease and alternated between roles as archivists and characters with hardly a moments thought. Crystal Brown as both Eurydice & Tiresias whilst also being an Archivist managed to switch from seductive matriarch to blind soothsayer, then robotic archivist in the blink of an eye and with hardly more than a simple change of footwear. With such simple props, it was remarkable how the cast used them to seamlessly shift from one character to the next. It was only the use of drones that I would have lost as they didn't add to the narrative and ended up more as a distraction. That aside, full marks should be given to the excellent choreography which involved not just the actors but also the set as both immaculately flowed round the stage.
The story of Antigone is a family tragedy where love plays little part. Two brothers kill each other, a father condemns his son’s lover to death and a mother mourning one son loses another. There are moments of humour dashed into this tragic tale, with hints to current world events scattered throughout the tragedy. Musically the use of a playlist for the doomed lovers provides some light relief and emphasises the humanity of this woeful tale.
Director Tamsin Shasha and her excellent cast and crew should be commended on a fine performance which enthralled and delighted the audience.