Antigone (by Sophocles)

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Antigone [1] is a tragedy by Sophocles written in or before 441 BC.

The original text

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa



(See also Antigone by Sophocles below. It is often not clear from the available documents which version was used, particularly in the adaptations. If there is any uncertainty, they are listed under the Sophocles version.) Antigone by Sophokles.

Antigone, by Sophocles. (Written c. 442 BC) One of the most celebrated and utilized political protest plays in the world canon, with its theme of resistance to oppression and unjust laws in the face of conflicting social and familial values.

First produced in South Africa by ** in 18*?. Also done by the students of the Hugenote Gedenkschool in Wellington, directed by I.M.E. Fremantle, *, * . Other productions include **, **, Baxter Theatre (adapted by Sean Mathias and Myer Taub, dir Sean Mathias, with John Kani and Hanlé Barnard, 2004). Utilized as a vehicle for political commentry by the Serpent Players (1965, directed by *?* i.a. with John Kani and Winston Ntshona) and by The Company (dir Barney Simon at the Blue Fox) in 1974.

Translated into Afrikaans by T.J. Haarhoff (published in Die Antieke Drama. 1. Tragedie by Afrikaanse Pers, 1946) and first performed in the 1950s, directed by J. Nel van der Merwe, with Anna Neethling-Pohl. Another translation into Afrikaans was done by J.P.J. van Rensburg, published by Human & Rousseau in 1961. This version was presented by Universiteitsteater Stellenbosch in 1961.

Antigone by Sophocles, Afrikaans text by Jannie Gildenhuys, directed by him for CAPAB at the Nico Arena, opening 12 October 1985. Design by Jenny de Swardt, lighting by Malcolm Hurrell. The cast: Marthinus Basson, Gary Carter, Neels Coetzee, Libby Daniels, Mary Dreyer, Margaretha Fischer, Mark Graham, Antoinette Kellermann, Belinda Koning, André Roothman, Francois Viljoen.

An adapted (Zulu?**) version was done by Peter sePuma in 1988 (entitled Igazi Lam = “My blood”). A dramatised “performance” of the play was to form the core Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona's collaborative work The Island. (See Antigone by Jean Anouilh above and Antigone ’71 below– for often it is not clear from the available documents which version was used, particularly in the adaptations.). Typro, an amateur group from Tygerberg, did a Cape version of it at the Joseph Stone Auditorium in 1981.


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