A version primarily for secondary schools was staged in Andrews
Lane Studio from 3 - 20 April 2000. The production was physical
and highly charged, unfolding swiftly in an hour and a half, as
the main characters plunge headlong into a catastrophe of their
own making. Elements of the original Greek style of stagecraft were
preserved (three main actors and a chorus) while the dialogue was
attuned to a modern ear and kept sharp and tense. Attention was
drawn in the production to the fascinatingly contemporary aspects
of the text, such as Antigone's apparent death-wish, Kreon's political
philosophy (remarkably Thatcherite), and a view of sexual love which
sees it as a destructive energy rather than a redemptive force.
This production of ANTIGONE attempted to examine issues close to
the company's agenda: is political expediency and ruthlessness justifiable
in a time of crisis? What is a satisfactory model for the practice
of good government? Who 'owns' the dead - the individual, the family
of the estate? Must one purse one's own vision even though it results
in the ruin of everyone else's?
It was directed by Peter Hussey, designed by Joanie Murphy and lit
by Áine Monahan. Costumes are Berni Diver. The cast features Yvonne
Ó Hara (Antigone), Darren Donohue (Kreon), Andrew Buchanan (Teiresias),
Niall Power, Clodagh Ryan, Bairbre Sexton, Niamh Maguire and Susan
We also staged the production in Newbridge Court House for three
nights during the community's annual Bealtaine Arts Festival.
On the whole reviews were favourable, but included one un-necessarily
savage and personalised attack by a national reviewer not noted
for her critical objectivity. However, such are the slings and arrows
… something to learn from.
Excerpts from Reviews:
"This telling of a Theban power struggle and one woman's
refusal to bow to the victor has plenty of potency. The production's
greatest strength is, as it ought to be, Antigone herself. Yvonne
Ó Hara (last seen impressing in Mark Ravenhill's Handbag) takes
control of a role that seems designed to lead actors into deep
and histrionic waters. Ó Hara's Antigone has strengths that do
not all need to be roared at the crowd, and the actor marshals
a sense of inner certainty that fleshes her character out."
- The Evening Herald
"After 2400 years, the play still fascinates, and any opportunity
to see it is welcome. Crooked House Theatre Company, directed
by Peter Hussey, performs it with conviction, despite being squashed
into this studio space. Yvonne Ó Hara captures the single-mindedness
and stubborn conviction of Antigone ("She is her father's daughter")
looking straight head when questioned by Kreon (Darren Donohue),
her eyes fixed on a higher truth. Andrew Buchanan as the blind
seer, Tieresias, conveys the tragic weight of knowing too much
as he foresees the destruction of Thebes. […] The text, drawn
from a number of translations, is simple, direct and effectively
colloquial. It speaks eloquently to us across the centuries."
-The Irish Times
"As Antigone, Yvonne Ó Hara had the necessary charisma and stature
without resorting to over-piousness, while Niall Power showed
commendable adaptability in his roles as sentry, chorus member
and the ill-fated Haemon."
"Wearing its educational credentials on its sleeves does not hurt
this youth-orientated version of Sophocles' bloody ceremony of
principles and carnage. Crooked House Theatre Company has cleverly
assembled its text from various translations and versions of the
play, and the show is almost free of sidetracks and longeurs.
A large amount of the credit for its entertainment value, however,
has to go to Yvonne Ó Hara, last seen in Crooked House's production
of Handbag. Ó Hara's Antigone is a woman of real substance, not
at all comfortable with rabble-rousing, but doing what is necessary
when provoked. Darren Donohue provides an enemy as Kreon, while
Andrew Buchanan's Tieresias has more than a touch of Yoda to his
prognostications. The production, however, is never as satisfying
as when Ó Hara's Theban woman is centre stage."
-London Times 'Metro' magazine.