Antigone (3 stars)


Tron Theatre, Glasgow, until Sat 27 Oct


In March 2003, 41% of British people were opposed to the Iraq war, taking to the streets in protest, however this did little to break Blair’s resolve. Over four years later and with Iraq still in turmoil, Blair admitted in his resignation speech that ‘he may have been wrong’, but like Creon (Jimmy Yuill) in Sophocles’ classic play, his admission comes far too late, after destiny has already taken its toll.

Antigone (Hannah Donaldson) defies the law in favour of her own moral judgement, Creon upholds the law without question, however both must face the consequences.

Using televised press conferences, projections of alternating images showing the honour and horror of war and pre-recorded sequences of a newsreader relaying the plays key events, director David Levin, who has lived much of his life in conflict-ridden Tel Aviv, attempts to increase the plays relevance to his contemporary media-aware audience, but it’s not enough. The Greek chorus comprising of three old cronies reminiscent of Foggy, Clegg and Compo in Last of the Summer Wine (Billy Riddoch, Hamish Wilson, Andrew Dallmeyer) and a Weegie-turned-soldier (Martin Docherty) (an all too common Tron device) intrusively attempt to inject some humour and detract from an interpretation which seems to otherwise focus (through bright lights, loud noises and long silences) on making the audience share in the onstage pain, feeling that they are in some way responsible for the outcome. Levin prefers not to formally audition for his productions and despite his luck with Yuill and Donaldson, with stiff actors littering the rest of the stage, distracting through their rigidity — it shows. Also, be prepared for a lot of shouting (at times you might feel like you’re watching a Christmas episode of Eastenders). Bringing out themes of patriotism, governing through fear, law versus morality, the conflicting importance of the past, present and future, the danger of vanity and what people of the previous generation can learn from the new, it’s worth a look but there might be an admission of some artistic guilt from Levin in the near future.


Sophocles' classic tragedy about a young woman's defiance in a war-torn state.

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