Following the critical success of Kingston 14 at Theatre Royal Stratford East earlier this year, the BAFTA award-winning playwright Roy Williams is set to return with an exciting and fast-paced new version of Sophocles’ Greek classic.
Directed by Pilot Theatre’s Artistic Director Marcus Romer and co-produced with Derby Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East, Antigone comes to London following a major national tour that received rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. The production will run at Theatre Royal Stratford East from Thursday 19th February to Saturday 14th March 2015 with Press Night on Tuesday 24th February.
Roy Williams’ new version of Antigone re-imagines Sophocles’ tale about loyalty and truth, human nature and human behaviour in a contemporary world, creating a new piece of theatre that will reverberate with today’s audiences.
On adapting Sophocles’ Greek classic, Roy Williams said: “I was intrigued to know if it was possible to set Antigone in a world that I have written about before, i.e. the gangster culture that is too often the life of a lot of young people today. It has always disturbed me to hear young people say that being in a gang makes them feel powerful. But as we all know power does corrupt. Creon begins the play feeling all-powerful with his gang running ‘tings’ in Thebes. It is almost like he and others like him, have put aside other feelings that make us human, like love, insecurity, fear, and masculinity, in favour of a “live fast, die young” mentality.”
Roy Williams is one of the country’s leading contemporary playwrights. His recent works include Wildefire (Hampstead Theatre), Kingston 14 (Theatre Royal Stratford East), The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Pilot Theatre/ UK Tour), the Olivier nominated Sucker Punch (Royal Court Theatre), Fallout (Royal Court Theatre), Sing Yer Heart out for the Lads (National Theatre). This will be the third time that Williams has worked with Pilot Theatre – the other two being the successful touring productions of The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner and Sing Yer Heart out for the Lads.
Kerry Michael, Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East said: “Roy Williams is one of the UK’s most exciting contemporary playwrights and we’re delighted to have him back on our stage with this bold, emotional and compelling new work. The show has received rave reviews from audiences and critics alike on its tour of the UK and we can’t wait to hear what our audiences have to say.”
ANTIGONE is directed by Marcus Romer, Artistic Director of Pilot Theatre, who aim to inspire creativity and new ways of thinking and are strategic innovators in the field of digital networks and leaders in the delivery and distribution of work for, by and with young people. Last year the company received much acclaim for their production of Blood + Chocolate.
Referring to the technical aspects of the forthcoming production, Marcus Romer said: “We will be using cameras integrated into the set, watching the characters’ every moves – the CCTV behaving like the all-seeing Gods watching and recording all the activity as it unfolds.”
The production is being supported by an extensive National Schools’ programme that is being run alongside the tour. The programme provides an informative education resource pack, exploring the themes and story of Antigone and their relevance in today’s society. The programme will also offer workshop activities and bespoke participatory projects.
Antigone’s cast features Doreen Blackstock (The Container, Young Vic) as Eunice, Gamba Cole (Kingston 14, Theatre Royal Stratford East) as Eamon, Savannah Gordon-Liburd (Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Pilot Theatre) as Antigone, Luke James (Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Pilot Theatre) as Guard, Mark Monero (One Man Two Guvnors, National Tour) as Creon, Sean Sagar (Ill Manors) as Soldier 3/Sentry, Frieda Thiel (My Brother the Devil) as Esme, Lloyd Thomas (Buried Child, Leicester Curve) as Soldier 2 and Oliver Wilson (Henry V, Propeller Theatre Company and Blue/Orange, National Tour) as Soldier 1/Tyrese.
The production is designed by Joanna Scotcher (The Railway Children, Waterloo Station), lighting by Alexandra Stafford (See How They Run, York Theatre Royal) and music by Sandy Nuttgens (The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Pilot Theatre).
Theatre Royal Stratford East:
BEAUTY & THE BEAST 29 Nov 2014 – 17 January 2015
OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR 29 January – 7 February 2015
ANTIGONE 19 February – 14 March 2015
Wednesday 14th January 2015