Lucy Popescu’s theatre news: Antigone at New Diorama; Beckett
17 January, 2020 — By Lucy Popescu
Ali Pidsley’s production of Antigone at The New Diorama. Photo: Ali Wright
THIS month sees several exciting new productions of classic plays by Sophocles and Samuel Beckett.
Lulu Raczka has reimagined Sophocles’ Antigone as a two-hander about sisterhood. In Ali Pidsley’s lively production, Antigone (Annabel Baldwin) and Ismene (Rachel Hosker) are teenage girls yearning to go to a bar and meet boys. Instead, they are confined to their house by their uncle, King Creon of Thebes.
Outside a war rages, resulting in the death of their two brothers. When Antigone learns that Polynices, considered a traitor by Creon, is to be left outside the city gates and refused all funeral rites she resolves to defy her uncle’s wishes.
Lizzy Leech’s imaginative set – a raised circle of earth – evokes the sense of a burial ground. When Antigone steps outside the circle to bury her brother she also tilts the lighting rig, dramatically altering the focus.
In another radical move, after Antigone’s death Raczka shifts the perspective, allowing Ismene to voice her thoughts and desires while Antigone’s ghost prowls around her.
At The New Diorama until February 1. Call 020 7383 9034, https://www.newdiorama.com/
• George Eugeniou offers a bold new adaptation of Sophocles’ Oedipus King about the thirst for power and an honourable leader. This retelling promises to resonate with modern audiences. At Theatro Technis until January 19. More details on 020 7387 6617, https://theatrotechnis.com
• Meanwhile, Trevor Nunn directs three of Beckett’s short plays, Krapp’s Last Tape, Eh Joe and The Old Tune at Jermyn Street Theatre until February 8. Call 020 7287 2875, https://www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk/
• Beckett’s Endgame, starring Alan Cumming and Daniel Radcliffe, opens at the Old Vic on January 29. It runs as part of a double bill with the rarely staged Rough for Theatre II, starring Jane Horrocks. More details on 0344 871 7628, https://www.oldvictheatre.com/