Theatre in Wales

Plays and dance productions in Wales since 1982...

 
Antigone Now by Dic Edwards
First presented in 2000 by Spectacle Theatre
 

   There are 2 reviews of Spectacle Theatre's Antigone Now in our database:
Antigone Now by Dic Edwards
[print]Print this review  now
venue
on tour
October-01-00
Turning back not only to the words of past masters but to the structures of older plays Edwards presents the family as the space of reproduction and hence the site of struggle for what will come in the future. Unsurprisingly, then, his protagonists are frequently women, his concerns social rather than psychological. Perhaps this explains his fascination with abortive births, with deformity and with people cast out or expelled from normality (Alma Wittgenstein gives birth over the skeleton of the philosopher who was not her father; Regan in the play of that name was born deformed, the child in Low People is dumb; in Utah Blue , Gary Gilmore is impotent when free from prison, an artist of death rather than life). His new play, Antigone Now, draws on the Sophoclean pretext to address questions of personal responsibility and compromise. Where parents have abdicated their moral responsibilities, the children are bewildered and hurt and the daughter, as in the classical paradigm, is left to decide moral issues and to face the dark undercurrents that emerge violently into the present from a repressed past. In Antigone Now the son first spoils the exotic meal bought to celebrate his father's promotion to advertising executive and then takes its place in a ghoulish sacrificial exchange.


The Greeks saw the conflictual relations of the individual to the family, the state and the gods as the root of their drama and sought a resolution of this conflict through tragedy. In Edwards' modern version, the conflict is rendered absurd because, when the significance of the past is denied and reduced to isolated and meaningless moments, there can be no progression or development, no future. His Antigone Now investigates a world in which the past has been reduced to the absurdity of a video of the mother as beauty queen and sexual icon, while the present, outer comfort of a family disintegrating from within rests on promoting the stupidity of consumers who buy emptiness. It's a powerful play and it will be interesting to see it staged this autumn.
reviewer:
Jeni Williams
Antigone Now by Dic Edwards
[print]Print this review  now
venue
on tour....
October-01-00
Forget that intimidating Antigone in the title. You need know nothing of Greek mythology of Sophocles, Brecht or Anouilh to go through this cathartic experience of this emotionally draining drama from playwright Dic Edwards.

This is very much a tale of today, set not a million miles from Spectacle Theatre's Rhondda College base (the venue for this gala performance during the production's tour), even if its does take as its source the themes of family, guilt, respect, history, identity and power in the classic original.

A domineering, ambitious father with a dark secret, a finicky, self-obsessed mum still living in the past, an irresponsible joy-riding son and a conscientious schoolgirl daughter who just about hold the family together, all find their lives changed one winter's evening.

Antigone Now! is a working class tragedy - a deliberate contradiction in terms, since ordinary people don't usually experience tragedy in the classical sense, tragedy being the stuff of heroes and nobles. That conflict is at the core of this remarkable script, where Edwards not only has an everyday family living out a Greek myth but has their speech lurching from familiar conversation to high-flown lyricism as we are shown how the mundane can be as affecting as the classic.

When this production, directed by Steve Davis, works well (as it did in Llwynypia) the result is an intense, charged experience. At times it can seem like an uneasy mix of issue-driven Theatre-in-Education and timeless epic with no subtlety of character, but if you surrender to the unusual meld of vernacular and classical then the committed cast (Jeremi Cockram, Karen Wynne, Arwel Davies and Karin Diamond) will carry you with them
reviewer:
David Adams

If you know of any other existing review, or if you have any more information on Antigone Now, (perhaps you were in the production or were the author or director) then please use the form below to send us the details
Add your comments or amendments to our information on Antigone Now
your name
e-mail address
What colour is this block?

orange


this helps us fight spam messages . You have to fill in the box for your message to be sent!
 

Privacy Policy | Contact Us | ©2006 keith morris / red snapper web designs / keith@artx.co.uk