Antigone (by Jean Anouilh)

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Antigone is a play by Jean Anouilh (1910–1987)[1], a tragedy inspired by Greek mythology and the play of the same name by Sophocles.

See also the general entry on Antigone.

The original text

It was first performed in Paris at the Théâtre de l'Atelier on February 6, 1944, during the Nazi occupation. It had its British première by the Old Vic Theatre Company at the New Theatre, London, on 10 February 1949.

Translations and adaptations

First adapted and translated into English by Lewis Galantiére (1893-1977)[2] and published by Random House in 1946.

Adapted for use as part of Antigonesiklus (or Die Antigone Siklus; i.e. "(the) Antigone cycle") - a compilation of the versions of the myth by Sophocles, Anouilh and Brecht, created and performed for production by the Universiteitsteater Stellenbosch in 1962.

Translated into Afrikaans by Jocelyn de Bruyn and Fred Engelen in 1965.

Performance history in South Africa

1952: Presented by the University Players, directed by Ralph Gruskin.

1952: Performed by The Company of Four in the Eastern Province Society of Arts and Crafts' Arts Hall, Port Elizabeth, from June 16 - 21. Produced by Will Jamieson, with Maurice Weightman, Molly Kauffman, Phyllis Taylor, Joyce Scotcher, Rollo Johnson, Will Jamieson, Rupert Bellairs, Ronald Walland, Robin Parker, Douglas Sibbald, John Traylor and B Sismey. Lighting was by H Alyn Lane and R Parker and W Bruhuber were the stage directors.

1953: The Lewis Galantiére English translation was staged by the National Theatre Organisation in the University Theatre from 11 to 30 August, directed by Leonard Schach, with Edna Jacobson (Antigone), Robert Lang (Chorus), Molly Seftel (Nurse), Roma Reilly (Ismene), Louis van Eyssen (Haemon), Frank Wise (Creon), Michael Perry (1st Guard) and Barry Lategan (2nd Guard). Decor by Kobus Esterhuysen and costumes by Leonard Schach.

1956: Staged by the Arena Theatre Company in the YMCA Hall, with Beryl Gordon and Arthur Hall, as part of the Johannesburg Arts Festival.

1965: The Afrikaans translation by De Bruyn and Engelen, staged by the Universiteitsteater Stellenbosch, opened in the Proefteater in Andringa Street on 1 May 1965. It was the last production in the old Proefteater before the building was demolished to make space for the new Drama Department building and the H.B. Thom Theatre built in 1966. The cast were: Isabel Combrink (Antigone), Fred Engelen (Kreon), Henk Hugo (Haimon), Thea Kirstein (Ismene), Annette Faure (Eurydike), Marie van Heerden (Noenoe), Deon Joubert (Wag 1), Pieter de Swardt (Wag 2), Etienne Pienaar (Wag 3), Mees Xteen (Boodskapper), Willem de la Querra (Hofknaap) and Joan Greyvenstein (die Koor). The décor was designed by Deon Joubert and executed by Willem de la Querra, costumes by Elise Ziervogel, make-up designed by Tine Balder, music by Bie Engelen, sound controlled by Mees Xteen, lighting designed by Fred Engelen and executed by Val Julius and the stage manager was Bettina Camerer. The production was staged for one night, on 15 May, in the Nasionale Saal in Parow, Cape Town and in September 1965 CAPAB staged the same production in the Hofmeyr Theatre in Cape Town.

1969: The English translation by Galantiere, staged by CAPAB Theatre in the Round, opened on 17 March, directed by John Ramsbottom and Peter Curtis. The cast included Lyn Hooker (Antigone), Pietro Nolte, (King Creon), John Ramsbottom, Brigid Reynolds, David Sharp, Joyce Bradley (The Nurse), Alan Prior (First Guard), David Salton, Roy Nieman and Gordon Sara. Staged at the Gelvandale Community Centre, Port Elizabeth, on June 4, 1969, for the "Coloured" community and the Leo Baeck Hall, Port Elizabeth, for the White community, from 5-7 June.

197*: Staged by the Soweto Ensemble (**).

1971: An influential South African adaptation of the play was done by TECON under the title Antigone ’71.

1975: Staged by The Company, directed by Barney Simon, with Carel Trichardt (Creon), Aletta Bezuidenhout (Antigone), Vanessa Cooke (Ismene), Michael Richard (Haemon), Michele Maxwell (Tiresias), Danny Keogh (Sentry), Sue Kiel (Euridice), Beverley Melnick (Woman). Colin Shamley, Anthony Flesch, Beverley Melnick and Michele Maxwell were the minstrel, the chorus and the musicians. Costumes by Katie Saunders and sets by Danny Keogh, David Eppel, Paul Slabolepszy and Deon Stewardson.

1976: Themi Venturas produced the Port Elizabeth Shakespearean Festival Young 'uns version of Antigone at the Port Elizabeth Opera House on April 16 & 17, 1976. Cast: Antonio de Gouveia (0razio, the hall porter), Peter Israel (The Engineer), Ian Liston (Amos, the commissar), Themi Venturas (Raim), Carol-Anne Kelleher (Argia), Bernadette Johnson (Elisabetta, the queen), David Preston (Biante, the general), William O'Driscoll (Maupa, his guard), Angela Davidson (peasant woman), Peter Alexandris (Peasant), Gwilym Wilkins (Young peasant boy), Patrick Scott, Anthony Mundell, William Rijs, Saki Zenios (Four travellers), Rosemary Welsh, Debbie Pienaar, Maureen Assheton-Smith, Hilton Gowar (Peasants), Aleco Kalimeris, William Rijs (Two soldiers).

2003: A version featuring a female Creon, was done by the University of Stellenbosch Drama Department, (directed by Ranza Skordis).


Wikipedia [3]

UTS theatre programme, May 1965.

CAPAB theatre programme, 1965.

Teater SA, 1(4), 1969.

Helikon, 1(6):66-67. 1952.

The Company theatre programme, 1975.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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