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.

South African translations and adaptations

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

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

1973: A dramatised "performance" of excerpts from the Sophocles play forms the core of The Island, a workshopped play by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona.

1975: Translated into Afrikaans by Theo Wassenaar.

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

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

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

2015: Adapted as a multimedia version, set in 21st century world TV and the internet, by Wendy Watson and Kenlynn Sutherland.

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**.

18**: Also done by the students of the Hugenote Gedenkschool in Wellington, directed by I.M.E. Fremantle.

1953: The Haarhoff Afrikaans translation was first performed by National Theatre Organisation, directed by J. Nel van der Merwe, with Anna Neethling-Pohl.

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

1963: The Van Rensburg Afrikaans translation was staged by the Durban Teachers College, directed by John van Biljon, with a cast including Joey de Koker (Antigone) and Brandt van Aardt (Kreon).

1965: Performed by the Serpent Players, produced and directed by Athol Fugard, with a cast that included John Kani and Winston Ntshona. It was utilized as a vehicle for political commentary by the group.

197*: The Watling English translation was staged by PACT, directed by Carel Trichardt, with Lynette Marais (Antigone), Marie Koeleman (Ismene), Raymond Davies (Creon), Paul Eilers (Haemon), Nigel Vermaas (Tiresias), Francois Stemmet (Sentry), Frantz Dubrowsky (Aide), Janice Honeyman (Eurydice) and others. Decor was designed by Raimond Schoop and costumes by Patricia Slavin.

1973: Performed in adapted and summarized form as a play within a play in Fugard, Kani and Nthona's The Island.

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.

2015: The multimedia version by Wendy Watson and Kenlynn Sutherland, staged with students of Durban Girls College, on May 11 to 14, directed by the authors.


PACT theatre programme (undated)

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

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