Tour: Faro, Portimão, Albufeira, Tavira, Loulé, Vila Real de Sto. António, Almada
Sophocles' text begins with the arrival of Antigone in Thebes. In her city her two brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices, struggle for power by force, instead of sharing it, one at the time, as it had been established. On the battlefield they die at the hands of one another, leaving the power to the nearest relative, their uncle Creon. Arriving to power, Creon creates a law: all those who died defending the city will have a dignified burial. Those who fought against their country will be abandoned, unburied. Those who disobey this law shall be sentenced to death.
Antigone cannot conceive the idea of leaving an unburied brother. She asks her sister for help but she refuses fearing of the consequences. Antigone leaves for the battlefield and covers his brother with earth, giving him the homage due to a dead man.
She’s seen doing it, and taken to Creon, who condemns her to be abandoned to death in a tomb made of stones. Without any regret, and never crying for mercy, Antigone faces her destiny and hangs herself in the tomb.
Sophocles may want to show with this play that the best way to do justice is to merge the human with the universal laws, seeking a point attempting to harmonize the desires of the parties involved.
‘This Antigone is, therefore, another Antigone and this is one of the reasons that lead us to feel the force, the originality reflected by the show. Another aspect has to do with the role played by the soundtrack, of a great musical wealth, giving something different to the show, something imaginary, which is also related to the role played by the set design. (...) Much could be said in an attempt to interpret the meaning of the performance by ACTA, even in terms of criticism. (...) This show is one of the biggest surprises of the Portuguese theatre of our time. With more of these surprises, it would become a different reality.’
Carlos Porto, Jornal de Letras, 16/02/05
‘What a great night I had in Faro, at Lethes Theatre. [...] In due time, the theatre group, ACTA, that in order to do just that - Theatre - has been a group of heroes fighting against the lack of resources, lack of facilities and lack of firm and decisive support, proposes to Algarvians this monument of political thought, built by Sophocles some 26 centuries ago, but because it is a myth - one of the most disturbing myths that humanity has produced – it is also contemporary. The argument between Creon and his son Haemon is a diamond of political art that only theatre can imbed specifically in the golden myth. [...] See the play, see how the seemingly fragile Joana Sá grows in her role and assumes the denunciation of death that takes place where death is not seen [...] And applaud Luís Vicente who, in Faro, is to Theatre as the conductor Alvaro Cassuto is to music. Let’s hope they get to educate, generate excellence, foster passion. I would like to see long queues of people buying tickets to this Antigone, to inquire with apprehension the difference between a holy crime and a wicked impiety - which is the crucial topic in Sophocles' play. "
Carlos Albino, Jornal do Algarve, 11/11/04
‘The Theatre Company of the Algarve (ACTA), [...] is once again to be congratulated for. Its newly premiered play "Antígona" [...] proves that quality productions take place not only in large urban centres. Emphasis on the staging, of veteran Luís Vicente, the music by Zé Eduardo with the choreographies by Evegeni Beliaev, and for cast, with emphasis on the young Joana Sá, in the role of Antigone. It is a show not to be missed.”
‘The new production by ACTA – “Antígona” - has made a lot of fuss. For some it’s fascinating, for many it’s hermetic and elitist, the opinions diverge. And then the controversy rises. (...) The show hurts: it forces you to see, to think, to feel and to take sides. (...) Brilliant, controversial, hermetic, boring or exciting, this production fulfils a vital function of our days: its multiple levels of understanding give plenty to talk about. Choose yours.’
Patrícia Amaral, Postal do Algarve, 09/12/04