pilot theatre presents

21 October 2014 – 28 February 2015

Antigone (2014-15)

"a chilling and powerful piece. "

The Stage

Pilot Theatre, Derby Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East collaborate on Roy Williams' startling contemporary version of this classic Greek tragedy. The streets of Thebes are the streets of urban Britain, a murky underworld where gang culture rules, cocky young men strut as soldiers and Creo, the club owner, is king.

The story hasn't changed in essence. Tig and Esme, as daughters of Oedipus, are marked out as 'inbreds' despised by Creo, who shows the ultimate disrespect in refusing to bury their brother's body. Mark Monero plays Creo with an arrogance, wit and casual swagger that can turn to menace in an instant. Savannah Gordon-Liburd's Tig is a coiled spring of defiance, a girl both tough and fragile as she tries to end this cycle of family revenge and abuse of power.

It takes a little time to get attuned to the naturalistic pace and rhythms of the language and jargon of the streets. There's plenty of railing against the "piss-taking" gods, present as the CCTV cameras that watch every move in this dark, clanging wasteland of steel and concrete, where industrial waste bins get shoved around with aggression.

Echoes of Romeo and Juliet abound in the doomed and entwined lovers. Gamba Cole as the sensitive Eamon, the Prince, has some gripping dialogue with his forceful mother, played with superb contempt by Doreene Blackstock, and there's a powerful performance from Oliver Wilson as the crazy but truth-talking prophet, Tyrese. A chilling and powerful piece.

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