Lung Ha's new production of Antigone
- Anna Burnside
- 27 February 2012
New score performed by National Youth Orchestra of Scotland
Is standing up for your beliefs always the right thing to do? How far would you be prepared to go? Sophocles addressed these questions in Antigone in 440BC; with the Arab Spring and anti-Putin demonstrations in Russia, they are more relevant than ever right this minute.
Lung Ha’s artistic director, Maria Oller felt the 23-strong company, all with learning disabilities, was ready to get back to the roots of drama and tackle Antigone’s choice between family honour and state punishment. ‘Also, with 23 actors, I can have a big chorus in Greek tragedy. Every director wants to do that.’
Adrian Osmond’s new version of the text keeps the stylised language and places it in a timeless yet contemporary setting. The costumes are neutral, with a hint of ancient Greek (there’s not a toga in sight). Five members of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland play a new score by Kenneth Dempster.
Antigone is, says Oller, ‘the most challenging thing the company has taken on so far. I want them to be part of the bigger theatre community, go beyond their own world.’
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Thu 15–Sat 17 Mar; Platform, Glasgow, Wed 21 Mar