Art And Culture

Modern Adaptation of Greek Play Antigone

Modern Adaptation of Greek Play AntigoneModern Adaptation of Greek Play Antigone

A modern adaptation of Sophocles' play Antigone is underway at Tehran's Baran Theater.

The play which opened on July 17 is titled 'Antigone?' and "is a violent adaptation" of the third of the Theban Plays, written by ancient Greek tragedian Sophocles who lived in the 5th Century BC. The other two are: Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus.

"This play is not recommended for children under 12 and those with heart problems," says a warning in red on the poster of the play. But playwright and director Hamidreza Hedayati says people over 16 should see it, Honaronline reported.

Hedayati's work is in the form of two stories in two separate periods of history, centuries apart. The first story happens in ancient Greece; the second takes place in Iran where a young woman Annie, who has lost her parents, wants to study sculpture in the university but is challenged by her obstinate uncle who is a butcher.

"The main scene is a shop, where there once was a bookstore belonging to her father, but her uncle is determined to take over the place and convert it into a butcher's shop.

"Annie's role is similar to that of Antigone in the Greek play and her uncle's that of Creon, Oedipus' brother in law, where he is wily and manipulative, willing to do anything to gain his ends.  

"Her uncle wants to own the shop, and Annie sees all the events in a dream when she falls asleep in preparation of her sculpture exhibition," Hedayati said.

"I have used other concepts in the play and focused more on the conflict between Creon and Antigone, and on the girl's rights that have been violated." It has an ending different from Sophocles' original work. The play evolved during rehearsals. It is a combination of various styles. "As the Iranian audiences prefer storytelling, I made it a narrative."

Hedayati is in the cast along with Hamidreza Bousaadi, Shafaq Khani, Arshia Zarrin, Babak Qaderi, Behdad Qaderi, Maryam Qorbanian, Hiva Mojed, Kaveh Marhemati, Nasim Moqadam, Shahab Malekpour and Hamidreza Noqredoust.

The hour-long play starts at 7 pm on all days except Saturday and will run through August 19.