Creators: Portrait Productions
Reviewer: Simon Topping
Antigone Alone, written by Michael McEvoy, starts with the titular character cast into a cave as a punishment for attempting to bury her brother against the express orders of her uncle, King Creon.
Antigone’s brothers, Eteocles and Polynices, have killed each other in a fight for the Kingdom and while Eteocles has been buried in a state funeral, with full honours and celebration, his rebellious brother lies where he was slain, not to be moved on pain of death as decreed by the new ruler of Thebes, Creon.
Isolated and in acceptance of her fate, Antigone tells the audience of her trials and tribulations in the great Grecian city. Antigone also goes on to tell the room of her father Oedipus’ story and the disastrous, tragedy which befalls him and her family because of his actions. It is a story based upon the 5th BC writings of Sophocles who explores how state power and laws often contradict individual morality and ethics.
McEvoy’s script focuses on Antigone’s family relationships between her brothers, uncle as well as sister (Ismene), father and mother (Jocasta). The strong themes of tragedy and being unable to escape one’s fate run through the piece.
Joanna Lucas as Antigone is often mesmerising to watch. A confident and charismatic performer she has total control of the role. Playing all characters in the piece, Lucas is a wonderful physical performer. She uses all her body and fabulous facial expressions to shift effortlessly from a distressed and exacerbated Antigone, to an aloof and despotic Creon and hapless and comedic royal guards in charge of watching over Polyneices body.
In a backdrop of a simple set, of black painted walls and a single chest of food centre stage, Lucas stands out in a striking white Grecian gown. Lighting skillfully adapts the mood of the piece and Lucas’ fabulous use of movement sets differing tones perfectly as the story of Antigone unfolds.
Lucas shines in this intimate performance of Greek mythology. A wonderful tale told and performed exceptionally well.
Reviewed on 11 May 2019 | Image: Contributed