‘Antigone’ - National Olivier Theatre - Wednesday 20th June 2012
Just wanted to add a few comments on my experience of the performance last night.
The whole thing progressed more quickly - made it feel punchier. That said - for me - the whole play is still too laboured and like a discussion of the same issues over and over again. That's fine, but in a way, lacks dramatic potential in a more emotional sense. The most emotion is felt - and that's significant I guess - from Jamie Ballard as the prophet Teiresias - he cannot see and so he feels, whilst the others see, think and analyse too much.
That said, Jodie Whittaker in her last scene as Antigone - facing death and bemoaning the loss of being a wife and mother - moved me much more than in previous performances. And I really believed Chris Eccleston as the broken man Creon. At last I felt empathy for his plight in the position he is in as a leader doing his best to maintain order in difficult circumstances, how in that position he feels he has to put first what he thinks is best for Thebes, rather than his own family, but at such an enormous personal cost to himself and the lives of those he loves. He is left with nothing. He is nothing. I literally felt empty as he said that.
I know for many it is hard to afford what I am about to write! Thanks to the lower prices of some of London's theatres, such as The National, this can be possible. I LOVE the experience of seeing a play several times during its run. I have seen a progression and development. I've also enjoyed the different choices the actors have made. And I have come to increasingly understand and appreciate the messages of Antigone. Over time The play and characters have come to life and debated with me and the rest of the audience, making me think about many different issues, which the play triggers. And that's how the theatrical experience ought to be. Thanks to all involved!