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   ANTIGONE
 


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 ine Monahan. Costumes are Berni Diver. The cast features Yvonne Hara (Antigone), Darren Donohue (Kreon), Andrew Buchanan (Teiresias), Niall Power, Clodagh Ryan, Bairbre Sexton, Niamh Maguire and Susan Anderson (Chorus).

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.

Antigone

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 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. 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 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 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."

-WOW!


"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 Hara, last seen in Crooked House's production of Handbag. 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 Hara's Theban woman is centre stage."

-London Times 'Metro' magazine.
Antigone

 
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