Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Preview: Antigone at Northern Stage

Power Play Comes
to the North East

Northern Stage  
7-11 October 2014.

 Contemporary version of Antigone by award-winning playwright Roy Williams to be performed at Newcastle’s Northern Stage

Photo: Robert Day
Following the critical success of his recent plays Kingston 14 at Theatre Royal Stratford East and Pilot Theatre’s touring production of The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, the acclaimed and award-winning playwright Roy Williams is once again set to join forces with York-based Pilot Theatre, this time to bring Sophocles' Antigone up to date in a bold new contemporary version of the classic Greek tragedy that will be relevant to today’s audiences.

Photo: Robert Day
Directed by Pilot Theatre’s Artistic Director Marcus Romer and co-produced with Derby Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East, Antigone will be at Northern Stage from 7-11 October.

Photo: Robert Day
Williams’ new version of Antigone re-imagines Sophocles’ tale about loyalty and truth, human nature and human behavior in a contemporary setting creating a new piece of theatre that will reverberate with today’s audiences whilst also illustrating Pilot’s excellent reputation for creating innovative work in new and exciting ways for a young theatre audience.

Photo: Robert Day
The production’s excellent cast will include Mark Monero (Steve Elliot in EastEnders and One Man Two Guvnors, National Tour; Gamba Cole (Kingston 14, Theatre Royal, Stratford East); Savannah Gordon-Liburd (Loneliness of the long Distance Runner, Pilot Theatre and Oliver Wilson (Henry V, Propeller Theatre Company and Blue/Orange, National Tour).

Photo: Robert Day

Williams said on adapting the classic Greek play: “I was intrigued to know if it was possible to set Antigone in a world that I have written about before, i.e. the gangster culture that is too often the life of a lot of young people today.”

“It has always disturbed me to hear young people say that being in a gang makes them feel powerful. But as we all know power does corrupt. Creon begins the play feeling all-powerful with his gang running ‘tingsin Thebes. It is almost like he and others like him, have put aside other feelings that make us human, like love and fear, in favour of a “live fast, die young” mentality. ” 

Photo: Robert Day
Roy Williams feels the story is very relevant today. He said: “If you watch the news and you see constantly the stories about what’s happening in the Middle East and in Ukraine, you realise the story of power and corruption is still totally relevant - but then it always is. There is another element for me though. The story also has a lot to say about contemporary gang culture, which is something I have written about before. It’s a subject I want to write about, but I want to find original ways of doing that.”

“When I have met young people while researching for plays about gang culture, I’ve been really surprised to hear them talking about themselves in military terms. They refer to themselves as soldiers and talk about gang culture like it is war. That whole notion of gang members seeing themselves as soldiers in a war is something that can be really well explored with the story of Antigone.”

Photo: Robert Day
Pilot Theatre aim to inspire creativity and new ways of thinking and are strategic innovators in the field of digital networks and leaders in the delivery and distribution of work for, by and with young people. Last year the company received much acclaim for their production of Blood + Chocolate.

The production will be supported by an extensive National Schools’ programme which will be run alongside the tour. The programme will provide an informative education resource pack, which explores the themes and story of Antigone and their relevance to the production and in today’s society, especially with young theatregoers. The programme will also be offering parallel work and workshop activities and bespoke participatory projects with the production’s host co-producing venues.

Tickets for Antigone are priced at £24, £19.50 & £14.50 / Students & U21s £12 and can be purchased at the Box Office on 0191 230 5151 or online at www.northernstage.co.uk.
Age suitability: 14+ Contains language and some content that may be unsuitable for under 14s.

Special Offers:
First Night: Buy 3 or more tickets for Fri 12 Sept and get 50% off (excluding concessions tickets).
Multibuy – Booking to see more than one show dramatically reduces the cost of your tickets.  Sit in top-price seats without needing to shell out top-price cash. All you need to do is book your shows in one transaction.
2 shows: £14 per ticket  SAVE up to £20
3 shows: £13 per ticket  SAVE up to £36
4 shows: £10 per ticket  SAVE up to £56
5+ shows: £9 per ticket  SAVE up to £75

Pilot Theatre in partnership with Derby Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East present
A new version by Roy Williams
Director: Marcus Romer
Designer: Joanna Scotcher
Lighting: Alexandra Stafford
Music: Sandy Nuttgens
Associate Director: Tom Bellerby

Doreene Blackstock – Eunice                   Gamba Cole – Eamon
Savannah Gordon-Liburd – Antigone     Luke James Guard
Mark Monero – Creon                               Sean Sagar– Soldier 3/Sentry
Frieda Thiel – Esme                                       Lloyd Thomas – Soldier 2
Oliver ThomasOliOliver Wilson – Tyrese/Soldier 1

On The Web

On Tour
7-11 October at 7.30pm (6pm 8 Oct: mat performances 11 Oct at 2pm) - Northern Stage
Box Office: 0191 230 5151 or www.northernstage.co.uk

13-14 October at 7.30pm (Mat: 14 Oct at 2.30pm) - Lakeside Arts Centre
Box Office: 0115 846777 / www.lakesidearts.org.uk

15-18 October at 7.30pm (16 Oct at 1.30pm) - Lawrence Batley Theatre
Box office 01484 430528 or www.thelbt.org
Post show talk: Tue 18 Mar
21-25 October at 7.30pm (Mat performances 23 Oct at 2pm & 25 Oct at 2.30pm) -York Theatre Royal
Box Office 01904 623568 / www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk

4-8 November at 7.30pm (Mat Performances – 6 & 8 Nov at 2.30pm) -Watford Palace Theatre
Box Office 01923 225671 / www.watfordpalacetheatre.co.uk
Post Show Discussion: 5 Nov

 11-15 November at 7.30pm (Mat performance – 12 Nov at 1.30pm) -Gulbenkian, Canterbury
 Box Office 01227 769075 or www.thegulbenkian.co.uk 
 Post show discussion will follow Wed 12 Nov 1.30pm and Thu 13 Nov 7.30pm performances.

18-22 November at 7.30pm (19 Nov at 1pm & 22 Nov at 2.30pm -Theatre Royal Winchester
 Box Office 01962 840440 or www.theatreroyalwinchester.co.uk

26-29 November at 7.30pm -Exeter Northcott Theatre
Tickets: Box Office 01392 493493 or www.exeternorthcott.co.uk
Post Show talk: 27 Nov

19 Feb-14 March 2015 at 7.30pm (Thus & Sat at 2.30pm) -Theatre Royal Stratford East
Post-show Q&A Tuesday 3 March.
Box Office: 0208 8534 0310 www.stratfordeast.com

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