Inspired by the events of Sophocles’ Antigone, Greek theatre veterans Actors of Dionysus chose to examine the actions of two women who are unable to explain the whereabouts of traitor Polynices rather than the story of Antigone herself, which made for a refreshingly intelligent angle on a brilliant story.
This standard of writing mixed with the immersive atmosphere created by the cast and crew in such a large space makes for a clever and thought provoking work of art
Staying true to elements of Greek tragedy, the play revolves around three main characters with other cast members playing the Chorus, providing background information and context. The Chorus are essential as without them anyone unfamiliar with Antigone would struggle to understand what was going on.
The role of the audience as ‘walking wounded’ is not as active as it sounds, consisting of standing in the centre of the room and watching as the action takes place. As this is only for 25 minutes it is manageable, and chairs are offered to anyone who need them. However, as the cast never directly enter the middle of the room, it was unclear feature of the performance which didn't change the experience.
Despite excellent performances from The Chorus, the attention often remains on the main characters. Alexandra (Andrea Newland) and Hestia (Tamsin Shasha) were two relatable and well played characters who clashed over their contrasting values. As their shift at a military hospital came to an end tensions increased when Angele (Louisa Lawrenson) arrived attempting to investigate why Polynices cannot be found. It emerges that these women may have been more involved than they let on.
AOD are clearly dedicated to their work and were keen for audience feedback. They used an interpreter throughout the show, for those who are hard of hearing, as well as talking to audience members before and after the show.
Despite everything else, the shining feature of the production is the script, enviably written by director Faye Hughes. Hughes has an amazing talent and writes a memorable clash between personal beliefs and the law. This standard of writing mixed with the immersive atmosphere created by the cast and crew in such a large space makes for a clever and thought provoking work of art.