Antigone
Drama

Barbican

Antigone

04 Mar 2015 - 28 Mar 2015

£16.00 - £55.00

Pro reviewers rating
13 reviews

3.2 out of 5.0
Peer reviewers rating
1 reviews

2.0 out of 5.0

  • Synopsis
  • Cast and creatives
  • Venue details
When her dead brother is decreed a traitor, his body left unburied beyond the city walls, Antigone refuses to accept this most severe of punishments. Defying her uncle who governs, she dares to say ‘No’. Forging ahead with a funeral alone, she places personal allegiance before politics, a tenacious act that will trigger a cycle of destruction. Renowned for the revelatory nature of his work, Ivo van Hove first enthralled London audiences with his ground-breaking Roman Tragedies seen at the Barbican in 2009. Drawing on his 'ability to break open texts calcified by tradition' (Guardian), the director now turns to a classic Greek masterpiece.
 Celebrated stage and screen actress Juliette Binoche plays Antigone in a contemporary version of Sophokles's tragedy, translated afresh by TS Eliot Prize-winning poet Anne Carson.

Barbican [Off West End]

“Juliette Binoche starts her performance as Sophocles’ tragic heroine as she means to go on: going against the flow. ”

Dominic Maxwell (The Times)

“To the rhythm of a doleful, tolling bell... Fate flows at the steady pace of lava... an intriguingly unhistrionic production. ”

Quentin Letts (Daily Mail)

“A hypnotic, precise production of Sophocles’ tragedy. ”

Natasha Tripney (The Stage, Time Out)

“Much more than a snob hit...combines a sombre aesthetic beauty with a sense of the ambivalence at the heart of Sophocles’s play.”

Michael Billington (The Guardian)

“The production is spare, slow-paced, mesmerizing, almost incantatory... Binoche moves with beautiful, unsettling sorrow. ”

Libby Purves (TheatreCat, Times)

“A low-key acting style deprives the tragedy of light and shade... Provokes neither pity nor fear, just polite curiosity. ”

Michael Arditti (Express)

“[Van Hove] attempts to have his Attic cake and eat it: ancient hubris with modern humanity. It doesn't work. ”

Michael Coveney (What's on Stage, The Stage, Independent)

“Impressive but strangely unmoving... full of thought-provoking interpretive decisions, yet incapable of grabbing you by the gut.”

Paul Taylor (The Independent)

“Van Hove pretty much nails the big picture, but the details feel lacking... a triumph of the head over the heart. ”

Andrzej Lukowski (Time Out)

“With... intensity and grace, Juliette Binoche captures the agony of Greek tragedy’s most provocative and inflexible heroine. ”

Henry Hitchings (Evening Standard)

“Inconsistent and fatally unmoving. Van Hove clearly dislikes histrionics and damps down the actors almost to a monotone. ”

Neil Norman (Express, The Stage)

“Anne Carson’s translation... is a mixture of the pleased-with-itself-poetic, colloquial bathos and clunking phrases. ”

Dominic Cavendish (The Telegraph)

“The language moves between sombre and jocular, is highly wrought and unconversational... Antigone is..more hysteric than heroine”

Kate Kellaway (Observer)

Reviews (1)    

Your rating
I liked the very stark design, steadily overlooked by a huge red sun. But this play's not really up to such a blank staging - it lacks the archetypal resonance of the better Greek tragedies. Binoche does a good line in angry, but her Antigone's unwavering, which might be true to the didactic message of the original, but makes her a bit of a bore. Any potential to engage a modern audience in this ...

Read more | Report

Ivy Pavlova 16 Jun 2015

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