By Seamus Heaney
Director Chris Kohn

  • Venue Upstairs Theatre
  • Dates 09 April – 25 May 2008

I was made to love, not hate.

In the quiet dawn after the end of the latest war, one of the last surviving daughters of the ruling household slips away to bury her traitor brother. By the end of the day, her simple act of love will have brought the state to its knees.

Sophocles’ magnificent tragedy cuts to the core of one of the conundrums of the twenty first century: how to balance the heart of the individual with the ever-shifting demands of the state. This burning verbal battle between Antigone and her uncle the ruler Creon, unfolds with fierce dramatic logic and terrifying precision. As the action carves its way onwards, Sophocles lays bare the full splendour and folly of the species. And along Creon’s well-intentioned path to catastrophe we get a truly brilliant portrait of flawed leadership.

The superb Deb Mailman returned to Belvoir St to tackle one of the great roles of the canon. Melbourne director Chris Kohn enchanted audiences Downstairs in both 2005 and 2007 and we welcomed him back for his Upstairs debut. He delivered a glistening, precision-milled production of Sophocles’ great play about what happens when love gets fed up with fear.

This is an ancient play about here and now.

Antigone has resurfaced time and time again throughout history, in many different contexts, because at its heart are the questions which have always confounded us – questions of citizenship, family, love, regret, obligation and spirituality. It presents an argument between the rule of law and individual idealism, and shows us that there are no simple solutions.’
Chris Kohn


By Seamus Heaney
Director Chris Kohn
Set & Costume Designer Dale Ferguson
Lighting Designer Luiz Pampolha
Composer & Sound Designer Jethro Woodward
Assistant Director Janice Muller


Katie Fitchett
Gillian Jones
Deborah Mailman
Pacharo Mzembe
Boris Radmilovich
James Saunders
Hazem Shammas
Paul Tassone

Production images by Heidrun Lohr


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