Photography: Tassou Amerikanos
 

Oedipus and Antigonê

by Sophocles

Translated by Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald

Adapted and directed by Kelly Wilson

28-31 October, 2020

Earl Arts Centre, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia 

Performance rights by permission of The Estate of Robert Fitzgerald

 

Cast (in order of appearance):

JOCASTA, wife of Oedipus / Antigone Chorus 5....................................................................Janice Molineux

OEDIPUS, doctor and leader of Thebes / Antigonê Chorus 1.....................................................Eliot McCann

CREONA, sister of Jocasta, mother of Haimon, career politician...................................................

Oedipus Chorus 1 / ANTIGONÊ, daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta...................................Olivia Brodzinski

Oedipus Chorus 2-PERSONAL ASSISTANT, secretary for Creona.......................................Phoebe Wheatley

Oedipus Chorus 3 / ISMENÊ, daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta.....................................................

Oedipus & Antigonê Chorus 4 / MESSENGER / ETEOCLÊS, son of Oedipus and Jocasta..........Kevin Vong

Oedipus Chorus 5-SENTRY, a security guard......................................................................................Lee Brient

Oedipus Chorus 6-HAIMON, son of Creona............................................................................Nathaniel Wood

CHAUFFEUR / TEIRESIAS, a blind seer..............................................................................................Aaron Beck

PROBATE LAWYER / POLYNEICÊS, son of Oedipus and Jocasta / MESSENGER 2.............Robbie Bleakley

 

Directorial Interpretation:

In this production, the narrative action, which originally took place in ancient Greece, is advanced to the year 2040. Thebes is now a modern city recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. King Oedipus has been transformed into a doctor who has been a compassionate and fair leader of Thebes since he arrived twenty years ago, when the perpetrator known as ‘The Sphinx’ played a major role in the spread of the virus that Oedipus eventually eradicated. In a desperate hope to maintain health and prosperity in their community, the Theban people have resumed their worship of the gods of ancient Greece. Jocasta assists her husband Oedipus in running a doctor’s surgery from an annex of their own home as they work to continue Thebes’ recovery. 

 

However, it seems there has been another outbreak of plague: crops are failing, cattle are sick, babies are stillborn and people are dying from unknown causes. Oedipus calls upon the blind seer, Teiresias, to discover the cause of the pestilence and to determine what the gods would have them do in order to survive. When Teiresias finally meets with Oedipus, his prophesy sets in motion a series of events that will forever change the lives of his wife, Jocasta; his sister-in-law, Creona; his nephew, Haimon; and his children, Polyneicês, Eteoclês, Ismenê and Antigonê.

 

This production is notable in its reimagining of Oedipus as a doctor and its portrayal of Creon as a woman, known as Creona, played by the same actor in both Oedipus and Antigonê. The audience witnesses the agony that befalls a well-meaning, yet naïve, doctor who assumes that the cause of his city’s current suffering has nothing to do with himself. Likewise, Creona, a career politician, leads Thebes with the best of intentions, but her decisions and actions demonstrate the pride and misplaced idealism that parallels some of the problems that plague politics today. As the result of these adaptations, the thematic content of the production produces a chilling modern significance.

 

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