It is ironic that this production reconceptualises Sophocles’ Antigone in a long run dystopia yet captures the powerful sense of historic ritual, and spectacle, in this climactic Theban enjoy.
Originally staged by the Classical Theatre of Harlem in 2018 and now streamed no cost of cost (the film is edited by Shawn René Graham and Ty Jones), the tale of Antigone’s riot from King Creon arrives with a great deal of nods to our have age. A information ticker rolls out the most recent on the warring brothers, Eteocles and Polynices, who are dead at the commence of the engage in, the latter’s overall body purchased to be remaining untouched by Creon – alternatively than be buried – since of his disobedience against the condition.
Directed by Carl Cofield, significantly of the production’s strengths lie in its aim on songs (beneath Kahlil X Daniel’s way) and choreography (by Tiffany Rea-Fisher), which feels as crucial as the textual content right here. There are kinetic projections (by Katherine Freer) that scale the entire breadth of the phase alongside with showers of gentle (made by Alan C Edwards). A highly effective chorus of singers change from gospel to Afro-punk, and there is a parallel chorus of dancers.
The script swivels neatly concerning stately dialogue and contemporary-working day vernacular, which delivers amusement. When Creon is in the grip of a crisis over his decision to banish Antigone, he asks a chorus member: “Do you consider I should really concede?” to which comes the tart reply: “Is Harlem Black?” The sentry (Anthony Vaughn Service provider) who operates on to bring news that Polynices has been given burial libations illicitly, pulls out an bronchial asthma inhaler as he attempts to catch his breath, and results in being his personal historical Greek standup act. “Poly-not-so-nices,” he claims of Antigone’s lifeless brother, and sounds like a latter-day edition of Shakespeare’s fool. He is massively entertaining, even though this comedy undercuts some of the play’s tragic depth.
This present day-historical hybrid continues in each factor of the stagecraft, which include Christopher and Justin Swader’s set design and style of courtly marble stairs and a shrine to the useless with a host of placards. “Black Life Matter”, reads just one. “Justice for Polynices”, reads one more.
Sisters Antigone (Alexandria King) and Ismene (Ava McCoy) are robust and ardent in their choices to obey or disobey the king. Antigone has wonderful dignity although Creon, played by Ty Jones, is a strongman leader in gold chains and cloak. That the actors engage in their characters instead flatly and with very little nuance does not subject in light of the fireworks of musical and visible outcomes. Tiresias’s (Kahlil X Daniel) prophecy of doom provides melodramatic spotlights and floods of red. It appears to be section of a brazen intention to entertain, higher than all else. At only an hour extended, it does just that.