Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Antigone"

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note: entire contents copyright 2003 by G. L. Horton


"Antigone"

Reviewed by G. L. Horton

I want to add my voice in praise of the Nora's "Antigone". I can see why some critics might resist Richard McElvain's adaptation, or even his stunning performance of Creon. It lacks the dignity of Sophocles' Greek, as far as we can judge from the best translations. The devices director Gidron borrowed from either experimental theatre or Choral Speaking to differentiate the formal speech of the Chorus from more realistic dialogue aren't new or brilliant-- but they are quite beautiful, and effective, if you allow yourself to be affected by them. What verbal poetry there is in McElvain's script is borrowed finery, familiar fragments. But nevertheless, the Nora "Antigone" on stage at The Playwrights Theatre is the real thing, poetry of the theatre. Of the stagings of classics I've seen recently, it most resembles Deborah Warner's acclaimed production of Medea, starring Fiona Shaw. For me at least, this "Antigone" is even more successful. It has pity and terror in abundance. The hairs stood up on the back of my neck, and I was weeping well before the last scenes. I recommend it to everyone-- and especially to young people. I first saw Antigone as a teen, in a restrained and heartfelt production at Ohio University that moved me tremendously. I've seen and read dozens of versions since, and taught the play to Northeastern Freshmen for about a decade. What is front and center in the Nora production is what grabbed me when I was young, and never failed to grab my NU students: power, principle, and pride, and the brutalizing effect of fear.

Geralyn Horton, playwright
Newton, MA Go see my SHORT PLAYS

"Antigone" (16 September - 3 October)
THE NORA THEATRE COMPANY
Boston Platwrights' Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Avenue, BOSTON MA
1(617)353-5899

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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