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 Photography: Laura Dorn
 

Oedipus and Antigonê

by Sophocles

Translated by Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald

Adapted and directed by Kelly Wilson

Production week, 26-31 October, 2020,

Earl Arts Centre, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia 

 

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...................................................Fiona Reilly

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.....................................................Lena Reilly

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

TEIRESIAS, a blind seer..........................................................................................................................David Lee

PROBATE LAWYER / POLYNEICÊS, son of Oedipus and Jocasta / Antigonê Chorus 3......Robbie Bleakley

CHAUFFEUR / MESSENGER 2 & Antigonê Chorus 2......................................................................Jan Gluszyk

 

Directorial Interpretation:

In this production, the narrative action, which originally took place in ancient Greece, is advanced to the year 2050. Thebes is now a modern city recovering from the verge of annihilation. King Oedipus has been transformed into a doctor who has been a compassionate and fair leader of Thebes since he arrived twenty years ago, during the bio-terrorist attack by the perpetrator known as ‘The Sphinx’, responsible for the pandemic of 2030 that Oedipus 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. Dr. 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 contemporary adaptation of Oedipus and Antigonê retains Sophocles’ text, as translated by Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald, while editing and transforming the script to create a modern exploration of some of the big questions that still plague us today. This production has also transformed some of Sophocles’ choral odes and text into lyrics for original music, which reintroduces the musical element of the original performances of ancient Greek tragedy and allows the dramatic action to be heightened through song.

This performance 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 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 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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