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Nt Antigone With Christopher Ecclestone


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#41 igb

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 05:28 PM

Sadly, my daughter can't make it tonight, so there's at least one return for some lucky punter.  Sat drinking coffee in the espresso bar: review from the train on the way back.

#42 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 05:59 PM

Tell me if you spot any projections!!!



#43 Latecomer

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 06:44 PM

View Postigb, on 03 July 2012 - 05:28 PM, said:

Sadly, my daughter can't make it tonight, so there's at least one return for some lucky punter.  Sat drinking coffee in the espresso bar: review from the train on the way back.

Oh dear. No Dr Martens then....

#44 igb

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 10:20 AM

So, I wrote a review on the train and promptly forgot to either save or post it.

I thought it was OK, but the production dominated the play.   There's a large office block on stage, rather in the manner of The West Wing, which rotates to show blank walls at various stages.   The office area is filled with 1960s electronics (teletypes, reel-to-reel tape recorders) which hints at The Lives of Others (also referenced in the programme) but to little purpose.  All that rotating stage stuff is a bit 1980s, isn't it?  

Eccleston was a bit one paced, but speaks wonderfully.   Unfortunately, there was one point at which, to indicate the displeasure of the Gods, all the electronics started spinning its reels and spewing paper,  which is such a Doctor Who trope that it was impossible to avoid being reminded.

Antigone and (especially) Ismene were a bit lightweight, but overall serviceable, although Antigone got a bit screechy towards the end which made you think that walling her up wouldn't be such a bad idea after all.  It may be regionalist of me, but (vide the RSC Measure for Measure last year) I'm starting to find women with northern accents that don't quite sound like their own a little wearing.   Either they're put on, or it's women from the north (or, perhaps, The North) who've learnt RP at RADA and slightly forgotten what their natural voice is: either way, I couldn't quite see what point was being made.  If the idea was to chime with Eccleston's accent, then the effect was all a bit "generic northern".  The chorus were weak, too: all the speeches were broken down into extended monologues, and therefore you didn't get the non-naturalistic effect of a chorus, and too many of them looked and sounded like they had escaped from shooting another series of The IT Crowd.   None of them was strong enough or distinct enough to justify being distinct.

I'm glad to have seen it, but I don't think my daughter missed too much of a treat.   It felt like a concept which had overpowered the play, and it was noticeable that even with a lot of Americans in the audience, there was no urge to ovate, and the audience applauded politely and left quietly.

#45 David J

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 05:53 PM

I went to see this yesterday afternoon. I was interested seeing this and Christopher Eccleston playing the tragic king after studying Antigone at College.


Sadly the Greek tragedy that this production is translated from has been overwhelmed by the artistic ideas used to create the modern setting. Instead of the chorus speaking as one during scene transitions, lines were given to individual members. Most of the characters' first entrances were not dramatic, especially Creon's. Also the modern setting made the ending feel under dramatic. It could not even hide the Greek elements, particularly near the end, and these looked out of place.


Yet the cast were excellent in their roles. Christopher Ecclestone was a rather calm, yet firm and hardworking Creon, whose patience wears thin as people pleads him for forgive Antigone. Jodie Whittaker plays a strong willed Antigone, Luke Newberry was a skinny yet well-spoken Haemon, Jamie Ballard, as Teiresias, produces a terrifying prophecy, and the chorus did well in giving their perspective on the events.


At times the set produced some interesting moments, but the style of the original text was overshadowed by the ideas that were introduced when designing this production, which made the integral drama of this play feel flat. This production is worth seeing at a Matinee


Matinee


My full review can be seen on http://shallicompare...one-review.html
My reviews can also be found at "A Night at the Theatre"

http://www.anightatthetheatre.co.uk/

#46 Epicoene

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 10:12 AM

View PostDavid J, on 22 July 2012 - 05:53 PM, said:

Sadly the Greek tragedy that this production is translated from has been overwhelmed by the artistic ideas used to create the modern setting. Instead of the chorus speaking as one during scene transitions, lines were given to individual members.


Just out of interest, what makes you think that the chorus should speak "as one" or why, if they did, that would make the production better ?


Have you seen any other productions of Greek plays ? - starting from Peter Hall's early NT productions I can't think of a single one that has not allocated some or all of the chorus lines to individual actors.  



#47 David J

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 04:26 PM

View PostEpicoene, on 23 July 2012 - 10:12 AM, said:

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Just out of interest, what makes you think that the chorus should speak "as one" or why, if they did, that would make the production better ?


Have you seen any other productions of Greek plays ? - starting from Peter Hall's early NT productions I can't think of a single one that has not allocated some or all of the chorus lines to individual actors.  


The chorus members spoke their lines as they acted out mini scenes through reflection or conversation during scene transitions, making it look realistic

I did study Antigone at College using the Declan Donnellan translation and we went through it imagening a traditional version of the play. To be frank, with this mindset I did come out of this production thinking that this translation made the characters stand out as being one note, until certain events change them. Apparently the chorus is meant to give a different perspective on the character's thoughts and actions, and whilst this version of the chorus was interesting, it did not grab me.

I am sure you have seen more Greek productions than I have, though I still remember admiring the chorus in the National Theatre's Oedipus singing like a Welsh choir, as Ralph Fiennes came on through the giant metal doors
My reviews can also be found at "A Night at the Theatre"

http://www.anightatthetheatre.co.uk/

#48 Epicoene

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:23 AM

View PostDavid J, on 23 July 2012 - 04:26 PM, said:

The chorus members spoke their lines as they acted out mini scenes through reflection or conversation during scene transitions, making it look realistic

You say that, but my question was how do you know that ? What is the evidence ?

In general I am not persuaded by the argument that the Greek plays should be produced in exactly the same way they were 2000 years ago - for example always always using masks - the challenge for a director is to make them relevant (dread word) rather than historically accurate museum exhibits.

#49 David J

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 08:41 AM

View PostEpicoene, on 24 July 2012 - 07:23 AM, said:

You say that, but my question was how do you know that ? What is the evidence ?

In general I am not persuaded by the argument that the Greek plays should be produced in exactly the same way they were 2000 years ago - for example always always using masks - the challenge for a director is to make them relevant (dread word) rather than historically accurate museum exhibits.

Then I would agree that I do not know enough

May I ask to describe some Greek productions that you have seen that makes good use of the chorus that makes them relevant
My reviews can also be found at "A Night at the Theatre"

http://www.anightatthetheatre.co.uk/

#50 Epicoene

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:14 AM

View PostDavid J, on 24 July 2012 - 08:41 AM, said:

Then I would agree that I do not know enough

May I ask to describe some Greek productions that you have seen that makes good use of the chorus that makes them relevant

The one we are discussing where they are presented as the King's back-office staff and advisers in a way that is immediately recognisable to modern audiences.




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