Antigone (by Sophocles)
The original text
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 also the general entry on Antigone.
South African translations and adaptations
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**.
1961: The Van Rensburg Afrikaans translation was staged by the University of Stellenbosch Drama Department at Rhenish Girl's High School in Stellenbosch as part of the Arts Festival Stellenbosch. The production was directed by Fred Engelen and the cast included Tine Balder (Antigone), Katinka Botha (Ismene), Laurie van der Merwe (Kreon), Marguerite de Villiers (Euridike), Ernst Eloff (Haimon), Fred le Roux (Teiresias), Frans Marx (Wagter), Emile Aucamp (Bode) and Jean Marquard (Dienares). Decor by Emile Aucamp and costumes by Esther van Ryswyk. This production was also staged at the Little Theatre in Cape Town in July.
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.
1970: 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.
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.
2004: The Mathias/Taub adaptation was staged at the Baxter Theatre following its run at the National Arts Festival, directed by Sean Mathias, with John Kani, Hanlé Barnard, Vaneshran Arumugam and British actor Ian McKellen , among others.
2015: A multimedia adaptation entitled #Antigone, was performed with students of Durban Girls College, on May 11 to 14. Adapted and directed by Wendy Watson and Kenlynn Sutherland, with a large cast including
PACT theatre programme (undated)
Arts Festival Stellenbosch programme, 1961.
Inskip, 1972. p. 147.
Cape Times, 12 July 2004.
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