Antigone (by Sophocles)

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

See: Antigone.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into English by E.F. Watling for Penguin Classics.

Translated into Afrikaans by T.J. Haarhoff, published in Die Antieke Drama. 1. Tragedie by Afrikaanse Pers-Boekhandel (1946).

Translated into Afrikaans by J.P.J. van Rensburg, published by Human & Rousseau in 1961.

Translated into Afrikaans by Theo Wassenaar in 1975.

Adapted by Jannie Gildenhuys for an Afrikaans production staged in 1985.

Adapted in a (Zulu?) version entitled Igazi Lam ("My Blood") by Peter Se-Puma in 1988.

Adapted by Sean Mathias and Myer Taub for a production staged in 2004.

A dramatised “performance” of the Sophocles play forms the core of The Island, a workshopped play by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona.

Performance history in South Africa

In South African productions of the play Antigone it is often not clear from the available documents which version was used, particularly in the adaptations (see the list under Antigone). If there is any uncertainty, these productions are listed here, under the Sophocles version.

18**: 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.

195*: The Haarhoff Afrikaans translation was first performed in the 1950s, directed by J. Nel van der Merwe, with Anna Neethling-Pohl.

1961: The Van Rensburg Afrikaans translation was staged by the Universiteitsteater Stellenbosch.

1965: Utilized as a vehicle for political commentry by the Serpent Players, directed by ***, with a cast including John Kani and Winston Ntshona)

1974: Staged by The Company, directed by Barney Simon at the Blue Fox).

1981: Typro, an amateur group from Tygerberg near Cape Town, performed a Cape version at the Joseph Stone Auditorium.

1985: The Afrikaans text adapted by Jannie Gildenhuys was staged by CAPAB in The Arena in the Nico Malan Theatre Complex in Cape Town, opening on 12 October, directed by Gildenhuys, with Marthinus Basson, Gary Carter, Neels Coetzee, Libby Daniels, Mary Dreyer, Margaretha Fischer, Mark Graham, Antoinette Kellermann, Belinda Koning, André Roothman and Francois Viljoen. Design by Jenny de Swardt, lighting by Malcolm Hurrell.

1988: Igazi Lam ("My Blood"), the adapted (Zulu?) version, was staged by Peter Se-Puma.

2004: The Mathias/Taub adaptation was staged at the Baxter Theatre, directed by Sean Mathias, with John Kani and Hanlé Barnard.


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