Thursday, 6 November 2008


Last week, as the kids were away, we went to The Royal Exchange Theatre to see 'Antigone' by Sophocles. It's not the sort of thing we would do normally, but it's not beyond the pail. We had tickets on the banquettes (that's a hard 'a', by the way. Bank, not Bonk. I asked The Ticket Guy) which cost £8.50 on the day, and are basically benches distributed around the perimeter of the stage (R.Ex is 'in the round'). It was the first time I'd ever seen the dramatisation of a Greek tragedy and it was, in the main, pretty entertaining. There was the almost obligatory updating of the costumes and vernacular (the last time I was at R.Ex it was to see a production of Macbeth set in a concentration camp. Nice), which made it difficult to see if the source material stood up (although the alternative of seeing it in the original Greek would have had me running from the theatre). The Banquette seats were great value for money - there was so much spit coming from some of the actors it was like being at a punk gig in '77. The play itself? Good. Some confusing and potentially pointless linking material between scenes, a patronising and irritating 'northern' messenger, and a weakly-cast Antigone were rescued by strong ensemble acting and a charismatic Creon.

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