In keeping with its tradition of producing serious drama
Anouilh wrote his version of the play in 1942, during the Second World War, and its theme of resistance and rebellion against the dictatorial power of the state mirrors the social and political upheaval of the time. Perhaps more importantly, the play makes us aware that the absolute power assumed by the state and its effect on ordinary citizens is a vital issue in the modern world as well, making it as urgent and relevant today as when it was first written.
This inspired the decision to set the play in the present day, in an unnamed state. The play begins with the ruler Creon issuing an edict which results in the lone rebellion of Antigone, his idealistic teenage niece. In the battle of wills that ensues, it becomes clear that power dynamics are not always what they seem, and that hierarchies must be challenged for a fairer world to emerge.
Through the characters of Antigone, Creon, Creon’s son Haemon and his wife Eurydice, the play clearly shows that rebellion comes with dire consequences. Creon is eventually left alone with his guilt to face the thought of continuing his rule, forced to hold on to the power which corrupted him, the power he did not choose to possess. Although the play is a tragedy, however, characters such as the nurse and a bawdy group of guards provide some welcome comic relief and ensure that the play will appeal to audiences of all ages.
Serala Ranatunga, a veteran of numerous previous productions, delivers an inspired performance as Antigone. She is ably supported by the charismatic Avijja Fonseka as Creon, while the role of Ismene will be played by Emily Hayward on the first night and Lois Tull Dare on the second, who both bring a level of sophistication to the role that surpasses their young age.
Antigone goes on the boards at the Lionel Wendt Theatre on the 19th and 20th of February 2010. Tickets are available at