Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Antigone



Antigone. After Sophocles. The Greek Project. Directed by Katie Cawthorne and Alison Plevey. Canberra Youth Theatre. Sept 1 -3 at 7pm. C Block Theatre, Gorman Arts Centre.

Tiny theatre, tiny season, full houses, been and gone.

But the treatment of Antigone by a small cast all thoroughly absorbed in telling the last story of the family of Oedipus was a gem from Canberra Youth Theatre that ought to be noted.

Seven actors (Kitty Malam, Stefanie Lekkas, Richard Cotta, Thomas Mifsud, Alexander Castello, Isha Menon and Mia Tuco) only and performed on a dark long set, spattered with strange stains, in what looked like butchers’ aprons, spattered with similar stains. (Stage/costume design by Kate Llewellyn) No masks were worn but there was an arresting eye surrounding makeup design from Casey Elder that alienated but forced attention on faces at key moments.

At some moments there was a sense of the Greek chorus, commentating, questioning, from the group. At others the individual characters emerged with clarity and conscience. Above all there was an understanding of the play and a strong ensemble working together to communicate that to the audience.

A young cast but the voices of deeper older experience were heard, particularly in Tuco’s calm voiced commentaries and in Cotta’s capturing of Creon’s stiff necked ingrained stubbornness. Add to this Malam’s forthright voice of conscience as Antigone, Lekkas’ Ismene understandably urging prudence and survival, Mifsud’s Sentry and his believable nervousness at bringing bad news to a king, Isha Menon’s knowledgeable dignity as the prophet Tiresias and the tense and fatalistic despair of Castello’s Haemon and the result was a superb example of what youth theatre can and should do.

A brief season indeed but a memorable version of Sophocles’ play.

Alanna Maclean

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