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Friday, March 23, 2012


Play based on ancient Greek mythology a joy to watch. (Review by Philisiwe Sithole)

The opening of Jean Anouilh's Antigone in the Courtyard Theatre took place last night. Directed by Lloyd O' Connor, Antigone is ancient Greek mythology-inspired drama which explores the roles of destiny in people 's lives, The play is about a young woman who wants to bury his brother with dignity yet the law denies her to do so because her brother was a traitor. Another problem is that the law forbids mourning. Antigone decides to disobey the law and buries her brother with the respect he deserves and this action leads her to death. This reflect on the themes present in the play - the issues in Antigone has relevance in today’s society in terms of tradition, law, custom, love and betrayal.

In this DUT version designed by Lloyd O' Connor with lighting design by Tina Le Roux, he has created a production which is accessible for a contemporary audience by presenting it in a colloquial text and using strong imagery. The design features a sand pit, lit torches and a cleansing font. Some of the scenes are underscored with sounds of wind, waves, birds and water which adds to the illusion being created.

Antigone begins with a very dignified well-projected chorus (Lungile Mtshali, Sindi Nkabane, Chwayita Nogaga, Mayenziwe Zuma) reporting the story will be established and describing the roles of the actors. In an outstanding and riveting performance (Tembela Mgadela) delivers a clear understanding and focused interpretation of the character of Antigone. There’s a powerful performance from Aphiwe Namba and there are unexpected comical moments portrayed by Professor Nqumako. Teakshania Chetty grabs the audience with her performance - and her skill of knitting. The whole cast performed with dedication, discipline and passion. They include Shalen Sookraj, Luthando Vezi, Buhle Mazibuko, Tevin Kunene, Siyasanga Tundzi and Mpilo Khumalo.

Antigone reflects on contemporary issues relating to the law, power, religion and women, and it highlights that individuals should stand up for what they believe in, Antigone emphasizes that women should not be subservient to men and to laws that deny freedom to women. This play is relevant to today's generation and society. It was a great joy to watch.

Antigone runs until March 26 at19h00 in the Courtyard Theatre, Steve Biko Campus, Mansfield Road. More information and bookings on 031 373 2194. - Philisiwe Sithole