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antigone

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director ivo van hove
from sophocles
duration 1:40
premiere 25 Feb 2015


Antigone features leading French actress Juliette Binoche in the title role and is directed by Ivo van Hove. Sophocles’ Antigone is one of the most challenging and important pieces in the entire repertoire. This unique production travelled to various cities throughout the world, including Luxembourg, Edinburgh, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Antwerp and Recklinghausen.


Following the bloody power struggle between her brothers, Antigone attempts to secure a respectable burial for her brother Polynices, thus defying the edict of her uncle King Creon. She is accused of treachery and must answer to Creon himself. Her fraternal love is unwavering, as is her rejection of her uncle’s political views. She stands firm and her obstinacy threatens to bring the entire state to its knees.

Antigone is one of the richest yet most enigmatic plays in the repertoire; it remains unequalled in its ability to combine all the fundamental contradictions of the human condition into a single, universally relevant drama. Sophocles subtly presents and intertwines the conflicts between the living and the dead, the individual and the state, man and woman, man and gods, parents and children.

Juliette Binoche is one of the world’s leading film actresses. She has won several Césars as Best French Actress, as well as a host of international awards including an Academy Award for her role in The English Patient. Her filmography includes Les Amants du Pont-Neuf, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Bleu, Caché, Chocolat and Camille Claudel 1915. She has also appeared in many stage productions, including Harold Pinter’s Betrayal in London’s West End and in-i at the National Theatre, London, a collaboration with the dancer and choreographer Akram Khan.

Antigone is produced by the Barbican London and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, in association with Toneelgroep Amsterdam and co-produced by Edinburgh International Festival, Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen and Théâtre de la Ville - Paris.


Ivo van Hove about Antigone

'Antigone says No! Antigone does not accept that her brother Polynices should be made a scapegoat and denigrated as an inhuman monster. She sets out to clear his name, showing ruthless passion in defending the rights of the individual and upholding the unwritten law. There is no place for her single-minded love in Thebes, where society does not appreciate her efforts. Nevertheless, Antigone remains resolute. She shouts a defiant ‘No!’ to the world of politics and the laws of the land. As the daughter of the incestuous marriage between King Oedipus and Jocasta, she is the embodiment of everything that is forbidden. Antigone is defiance personified: she is ‘No!’. By following her heart, she destroys an entire nation. Sophocles’ Antigone is as explosive as a nuclear bomb. It is an exploration of good and evil which delves into the workings of the human mind in a crisis. Antigone demonstrates how very unreasonable reason can be.'

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