The third text in a trilogy of Theban plays written by Sophocles, Antigone proceeds from the aftermath of the Thebes’ civil war, a war that would consequentially witness the deaths of brothers Eteocles and Polynices – two powerful forces leading opposite sides of combat. Eteocles honoured, Polynices shamed by the newly crowned king of Thebes, Creon. Exploring the Ancient Greek text further in a newly adapted production by Merlynn Tong, with direction by Dawn Walton OBE, performer Wendy Kweh talks about taking on the role of Creon, a role traditionally played by a male. Ahead of the production at the Mercury Theatre, Wendy tells us more about what to expect.
Hi Wendy, you’ll be taking part in Merlynn Tong’s adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone from early to mid October at the newly reopened Mercury Theatre. How are you feeling ahead of the run?
It’s great to be getting out on stage again after this long dark period. And I think audiences will respond to this short but powerful evening.
Antigone is a classical text drawing on themes of power, familial bonds, morality, conflict and grief, a tragedy set post a civil war which consequentially witnesses Creon take the throne. What inspired yourself to take part in the production?
You answered your own question. All of the above. Classics are always fresh. That’s what is amazing about them. And a new version like this one adds another charge.
It’s a really focused rehearsal room — the small cast and strong text is really concentrating our energy.
That we’re always learning. There are as many working styles as there are productions and each one teaches us something new about the work and about ourselves.
To be drawn in, to be put in a position of considering real choices for real people. It’s going to be a wonderful jolt out of our enforced time in separate rooms.
What would you like for audiences to take away?
That their local theatre can be illuminating and personal at the same time. That The Mercury is back with a vengeance — literally!
Questions by Lucy Basaba.
Wendy Kweh will star in Antigone, showing at the Mercury Theatre from Friday 1st until Saturday 16th October. To find out more about the production, visit here…