Antigone @ The National Theatre 24/05/12

I pretty much went into the Olivier Theatre with no idea what the play was about.  Luckily, a fairly friendly man sat next to me and pointed out the Oedipus family tree in the programme, which reminded me that I’d already seen Oedipus at the NT when Ralph Fiennes took the title role (my verdict on that boiled down to “it was good, but really really grim). We speculated a bit on what kind of era the play seemed to be set in – I went with early 80s, he went with 50s until I pointed out the printer/fax machine/whatever. Might have been 70s with all the beige and brown in the set.

Other thoughts:

  1. Play called “Antigone”, but Antigone isn’t really there most of the time. Probably a catchier name than “Creon” though.
  2. The Soldier = very attractive (yep, I’m shallow).
  3. I did like the about-turn from Ismene – she might not have been willing to actually go against the state, but she stuck with her sister when push came to shove.
  4. The whole duty to your family versus duty to the state was interesting. Even more interesting when I remembered about this being written back in the day with the whole ancient Greece thing going on and the role of women being entirely different back then.
  5. Which did make Ismene being unwilling to bury her brother at the beginning make more sense. She’s not supposed to really have a mind of her own, and Antigone’s disobedience of the state (and also her own Uncle) is that bit more shocking/unusual.
  6. Creon was a bit of an arse after the initial bit where he seemed fairly reasonable, wasn’t he? Admittedly, that’s not a technical term…
  7. Poor Eurydice. She’s there for all of five minutes and then she’s dead.
  8. Christopher Eccleston was nicely politician-y as Creon.
  9. I think the comments on gender and the roles of men and women were what caught my attention most while watching (and probably raised the few giggles that the tragedy does have). Possibly because most of my thoughts are on my presentation/essay about women and fundamentalism that I’ve got to do.
  10. Actually, when they were talking about Creon’s son, Haemon, being betrothed to one of the sisters, I thought they were talking about him being engaged to Ismene rather than Antigone. Which made me confused later on. Ismene gets forgotten about after being taken away pretty much. I wanted to know what happened to her.

It was very satisfying to watch.  Glad I knew it was a tragedy, at least, before watching because, with that knowledge, you can see exactly what’s going to drop on Creon when Haemon comes to talk to him.

Not entirely sure what the point of the slowing down of time/slow motion bits were. It was interesting to see, but… yeah.  I’d probably have to think about that more than I have brain-space for.

 

Much Ado About Nothing 23/07/11

So as part of my Mum’s ongoing birthday presents (started with a netbook before her birthday and shoes ON her birthday)…and because I wanted to see it anyway, we went to see Much Ado About Nothing. I don’t think I’ve laughed at a play so much in my life before. David Tennant and Catherine Tate, as Benedick and Beatrice, have the best comic timing ever and Don Pedro… Don Pedro was aces. And Claudio! And Don John! And Dogberry.

It was aces all round.

Anyway. So. We’re sitting there. Watching. Laughing. About 20-25 minutes in I feel my Mum look at me and think (yeah, it’s a thing. It’s like when I know she’s giggling like a madwoman during Mass). A moment goes past, where she decides, yeah, she’s going to ask me.

“Is that Doctor Who?”

Oedipus at the National Theatre

Today I went to the matinee performance of Oedipus at the National Theatre starring Ralph Fiennes. Obviously, being entirely about the whole Oedipus Greek myth, it’s fairly grim and very heavy going.

On the other hand, it’s also really enjoyable watching the whole unfolding of the reason that Thebes is cursed and Oedipus’ journey towards discovering the truth about his origins and what all of that subsequently means. And of course, wrapping your head around the idea that his children’s mother is also their grandmother and that he is his own children’s brother…

Well. It makes for imagining an interesting looking family tree.

Ralph Fiennes was really good – the character of Oedipus seems to be a very… hard-going role to play and he really carried it off, especially the more horrified and disgusted with himself Oedipus became. Clare Higgins as Jocasta was actually made of awesome. Her distress at the memory of having her baby son taken away from her was incredible to watch and then later, her desire to deny what she didn’t want to believe was true was very believable. The chorus were really good too – their diction was spot on and I could hear every word that was being sung – nothing was lost and the effect of the discord later on really reflected the whole downturn of events well.

So yeah. It was good. 😀