Antigone – a little walk, a lot of talk

A scene from Antigone presented on World Theatre Day by the Chennai-based theatre group called Masquerades

Theatre does possess a charm of its own. Known for its ‘one-chance’ policy, most veteran dramatists believe in the power of movement even when there is not much action.

However, this play by Masquerades directed by one of Chennai’s prominent theatre-personalities, Krishnan Kumar aka KK, seemed to have bent the norms. Or should I say – alter their philosophy?

A scene from Antigone presented on World Theatre Day by the Chennai-based theatre group called Masquerades

A scene from Antigone presented on World Theatre Day by the Chennai-based theatre group called Masquerades

What was the play about?

The Greek tragedy – Antigone – revolves around the tale of a girl and her desire to bid an honorable adieu to her brother.

Polynices, the brother Antigone, died while fighting in the Thebes’ civil war. Following which, the ruler of Thebes – Creon, said that he would be shamed in public and would not be buried honorably.

It was not long before Antigone was caught performing the burial rites for her brother.

The story henceforth

The story channelises into a path that depicts familial bonds, righteousness, and of course the bitter truth of life – death.

A scene from Antigone presented on World Theatre Day by the Chennai-based theatre group called Masquerades

A scene from Antigone presented on World Theatre Day by the Chennai-based theatre group called Masquerades

What worked?

The background scores were fantastic. The live performances of a flutist and a guitarist had worked wonders and set the mood for the show. Antigone (i.e the character) was portrayed rather well. Needless to say, Tiresias – played by KK, did liven up the play.

A scene from Antigone presented on World Theatre Day by the Chennai-based theatre group called Masquerades

A scene from Antigone presented on World Theatre Day by the Chennai-based theatre group called Masquerades

Scope for improvement?

Personally, the Theban elders seemed like a ‘deal-breaker’. Though their roles were rather crucial, the lack of movement or effective voice modulation failed to establish their importance. King Creon had a lot of say too but was unable to showcase his power and vigour. As far as young Haemon was concerned, if only he were on stage a little longer! This character was complex yet powerful. However, it was a pity to see him leave at a point when he had merely ‘warmed-up’.

 

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