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ANTIGONE GOES TO COURT (article first published : 2001-06-9)

Director Pertulia Ramaphala chose to take the Sophocles’ drama Antigone as the basis of a production for first year students of the Technikon Natal department of drama studies. Antigone Goes to Court ran at the Technikon’s Courtyard Theatre from May 25 to 27.

This project takes Jean Anouilh and Lewis Galantiere’s translation of Antigone a step further. The well-worn story of Antigone – a standard workhorse for drama students - is that she buried her brother against the wishes of her uncle, King Creon. As punishment, she was walled up in a cave where she took her own life rather than suffer a slow-suffocating death.

Pertulia Ramaphala has set her production in a courtroom, where King Creon is on trial for causing the death of Antigone. She brings into the scenario contemporary issues such as understanding of one another’s cultures, abuse of women and denial of constitutional rights. The conclusion was reached at the end of the trial that it was perhaps important to revisit a law in the context of an differing cultures.

Spirited performances come from Andile Mngadi as Advocate Cele and Tasha-Lee Reddy as Prosecutor Parbhoo – names to watch as they move through their study years. Other notable performances came from Stembiso Mbatha as the Old Man, Tommy Kyd as Jonas Lewis, Nokulanga Vilakazi as Preggy and Ayanda Tsotsi as Antigone’s sister Ismene.

All-round, the cast equipped themselves well and I look forward to their future efforts. - Caroline Smart




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