Antigone, Northern Stage - review: A darkly moody urban take on the Ancient classic

The 90-minutes of the single act play gallop along towards the tragic finale

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The Independent Culture

Converting the words of Sophocles into the argot of 21st century street slang is a highwire act.

On the one hand there is the risk of being accused of dad dancing by the younger audience you are seeking to attract. On the other there is the wrath of traditionalists who recoil in horror at the prospect of Thebes over run by the Staines Massive.

Writer Roy Williams avoids both perils – occasionally staying aloft only by the skin of his teeth – with this darkly moody urban take on the Ancient classic. Building on the success of his superb adaptation again with Pilot Theatre of The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Williams places the action in a nightclub presided over by an awe-inspiring Creo played by Mark Monero.

He is absolutely exceptional in the role – menacing, pitiless and terribly flawed – Monero completely dominates the stage at all times. He is ably supported – not least by Gamba Cole as his son Eamon and Oliver Wilson as a soldier and later with great effect as the blinded general Tyrese.

The 90-minutes of the single act play gallop along towards the tragic finale. A young audience absolutely lapped it up.

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