reviewed by Paula Citron
Written by Jean Anouilh
Directed by Chris Abraham
Starring Liisa Repo-Martell, R.H. Thomson, David Storch, Claire Calnan, Maggie Huculak, Jeff Lillico and Jordan Pettle
At the Young Centre until Oct. 17
Soulpepper’s production of Jean Anouilh’s Antigone is absolutely compelling. Chris Abraham is a visionary director who understands how to serve the playwright. Lorenzo Savoini has given him a set and lighting design that equals the drama. The production is dark, deep and intense. It is also absolutely insidious.
Anouilh wrote the play in 1944 during the Nazi occupation of France. His audiences would have understood the underlying themes of duty, responsibility and rebellion. The flashpoint is Antigone’s burial of her brother whom King Creon declared must lie unburied. Anouilh goes far beyond the premise of moral duty to take his characters and actors through a morass of competing philosophies.
Liisa Repo-Martell as Antigone and R.H. Thomson as Creon lead a strong cast through Anouilh’s twists and turns, making every argument and point of view sound logical.
It is a great debate on ethical behaviour that nobody wins, and should not be missed.
Antigone continues at the Young Centre until Oct. 17.