29 March 2006

Antigone: The First Proper Version in Jordan!

Well, to be honest, I have no idea whether or not it's ever been performed before in this country, but I'm quite happy about the version my friends and I are working on. Oh, in case you didn't gather, we're looking to put on a production of the play, based on three versions of the story by Sophocles, Bertolt Brecht, and Jean Anouilh. We're hoping to be up and running by July, but it's still all theory so far.

The really exciting thing about doing this play is that we're adapting it as we go along. The characters are fun to look at in three different versions, though Anouilh's is by far my favourite. I also happen to think it's the best written. Sophocles' (or is that Sophocles's? Does it count as a plural S?) version comes in a close second, with Brecht's trailing third. Don't get me wrong, Brecht is a marvellous writer, but his version is too skewed by his quest for his Verfremdungseffekt (alienation effect) and the fact that he had Hitler in mind when he wrote the character of Creon (or rather Kreon, as it's written in his version). The character comes out too much like a cartoon villian with no redeeming qualities, but then, that's just my reading of it.

I think Anouilh does a much better job of fleshing Creon out...perhaps too good a job, as his major scene with antigone goes on for about twenty pages. It gets tiresome, though it has some utter literary gems, especially when Creon goes into fate and the line of Oedipus. Good stuff indeed.

Well, looks like I'll keep a journal of what's going on...stay tuned for more.


Rebecca said...

Where will you perform it? It would be very cool to see a Greek play in a Roman amphetheater! (Of course, maybe a more modern venue would be appropriate, depending on how "updated" your final version is.) Other than the music festival in Jerash, do they ever have performances in the amphetheaters in Jordan?

Fedaykin said...

We're still not sure about actual venues, but I'm not sure the amphitheatre would be an excellent choice...the play would most probably benefit from an indoor stage, either a thrust (audience on three sides), or a proscenium ("normal") theatre. The version is a bit too modern, mayhap, and has specifically indoor scenes.

As for the amphitheatres, that's a good question...I don't see why not, but to be honest, I've yet to hear of any plays being staged there...I'm guessing it has something to do with the lack of technical support (lighting, sound), and the fact that drama in Jordan can't support the vocal demands of playing in the open (especially considering the traffic in the Balad for example). Hell, it could be as simple as the fact that the drama the amphitheatres were meant for no longer exists...it's a good thought that's worth considering...cheers for bringing it up.

Nocturne said...

It's always great to hear that Antigone is being preformed anywhere in the world. It is one of my favorite greek plays (it's much better in the original). I will be in Jordan this summer, so I'll have to look for your production.