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Antigone

Published Monday 15 September 2008 at 11:00 by Jonathan Lovett

Freedom of expression in a time of terror, the individual versus the nanny state - Sophocles’ 2,500-year-old play still feels as sharply relevant as ever.

And yet, disappointingly, newly-formed company Giant Olive fails to cast any fresh light on the Greek tragedy, offering a mundane version rooted in loincloths and bare feet.

Nothing wrong in setting it in period, of course, if the whole production wasn’t so uninspiring and suffering from a sense of being rapidly thrown together with minimum attention paid to insight or, crucially, a sense of drama.

On a sparse set, save for Creon’s throne, a ten-strong cast drift through the truncated text.

Imogen Harris as Antigone lacks passion when pleading the case for burying her dead brother, and Rafe Beckley as Creon lacks the necessary authority to suggest here is a king of convictions, coming across as a lightweight Leslie Phillips-like character than a strong head of state.

It really is all Greek to us and Michael Christofs’ Teiresias, whom it’s hard to understand, so it’s left to Sarah Balding’s expressive face in the chorus to provide some much needed emotion, and prove that you really don’t need to say a word, sometimes, to quietly steal the show.

Production information

Lion and Unicorn, London, September 11-September 21 and October 9-October 19

Author:
Sophocles
Directors:
Andrea Hooymans, George Sallis
Producer:
Giant Olive
Cast includes:
Imogen Harris, Rafe Beckley, Michael Christofs, Sarah Balding
Running time:
1hr 15mins

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15
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