Queensland Theatre closes its 2019 season with a stirring adaptation by Merlynn Tong after Sophocles of the quintessential Greek tragedy Antigone, charting the final fall of thedoomed children of Oedipus.
First written in 441 BC as the final piece of Sophocles’ trilogy of Theban plays, Antigonecentres on the titular character, a young woman seeking to honour the death of both her brothers. Formerly the joint rulers of Thebes, Eteocles and Polynices died on each other’s swords in a recently ended war over rulership of the city. Despite a new law forbidding the burial of Polynices, who has been deemed a traitor by newly-coronated king Creon, Antigone chooses defiance and is condemned by Creon for retrieving her brother from the carrion pile, triggering a chain of tragic events that will threaten to destroy the city. The play centres on the raging arguments between Antigone and Creon, as well as Creon and his son, Antigone’s betrothed Haemon, about ideas of family, duty, and morality, as well as the nature of wisdom, justice, and leadership.
Christen O’Leary and Jessica Tovey. Photograph © Dylan Evans
Merlynn Tong’s adaptation is skilfully crafted in modern, poetic language and...