Sunday, 21 September 2014

Antigone - Derby Theatre

Derby Theatre's autumn season opened on Friday night with an amazing production; a modern version of  Antigone, with Sophocles' tale unfolding in the urban setting of street gangs and nightclubs.

When Antigone's brother Orrin is killed, gang boss so-called 'King of Thebes', Creo, refuses to allow anyone to touch, cover or bury the body, leaving out in the street for the dogs. Tig (Antigone) won't accept this. She's angry and defiant, a feisty heroine sticking up to the bully to do what she believes to be right. The battle of wills between Tig and Creo is complicated further by the secret love between Tig and Creo's son Eamon - and even without knowing this is based on a Greek tragedy, you can tell there's no happy-ever-after ending in sight.

Now sometimes, these modern adaptations can fall flat - the only changes being to costume, and the plot holding little relevance to today's audience - but having seen Derby Theatre's reworking of The Odyssey, I was keen to see what Antigone would be like. Absolutely brilliant is the quick answer! The storyline fits well within its new setting and the themes of family loyalty, acting on one's beliefs and showing respect for the dead are all as valid today as they were for the Ancient Greeks.
There were wonderful performances from all the cast but especially Savannah Gordon-Liburd as Tig - from her tender moments with Eamon to banging on the bars of her cell, she was stunning.

This production is a joint affair with Pilot Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East, and when the Derby run finishes will be off on tour. It's rather exciting to be able to say I saw the first night!

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