“Antigone”: Antigone, or optimism

«Antigone»: Antigone ou l’optimisme

Photo: Stéphane Bourgeois
It was fun to see Joanie Lehoux deliver a Antigone boiling and imperfect.

This production ofAntigone, to the Trident, put the bar high expectations. The director, Olivier Arteau, awarded a first tray large, large playground for the guts and the energy that he has demonstrated so far (Doggy in gravel, Made in Beautiful). Finding support on a complete rewrite of the tragedy of Sophocles (six-hands : Rébecca Déraspe, Annick Lefebvre and Pascale Renaud-Hébert), the project was crossed at once by the liberties taken.

The audacity is palpable right from the opening, which presents a Polynice (Lucien Ratio) crazy, and then a Thebes futuristic but not so far away, and costumes military-industrial complexes that introduce just the right offset. Sounds ominous and the lighting fascinating contribute to the richness of moods.

Beyond the decor, the breakaways creative are multiple, between the images of a world authoritarian and a set of more physical. It was fun to see Joanie Lehoux deliver a Antigone boiling and imperfect.

Especially, the staging stands out by its strong materiality. Beyond the movements required of the distribution unfolds through a work of the body and textures, with the contribution of the earth and the dust or surfaces to be demolished, anchor the story in a potting soil that is palpable.

The output of the tragic

It is, however, some things that a staging inventive and a game invested can not escape : here, the weakness of the text.

It is crossed by a lyricism that is evident, that in and of itself is not a problem ; it becomes so when one begins to ask, ” what is defended behind the lyricism, the substrate, and the flesh. The overload of adverbs and nominal sentences, at times, appears symptomatic of a poorly articulated or thin, however, that other passages confuse overabundance of anglicisms and boldness. In addition, and unfortunately, some of the interventions of the chorus, in the overlay of voices and sound effects, make it incomprehensible that language exalted.

The transposition in a Thebes smoky and struck head-on by climate change — ” Our house is on fire “, will be recalled in the background of a scene, a quote from the young activist Swedish Greta Thunberg — in and of itself, is not problematic, even if the wires are not equally well secured.

Most importantly, the text of Sophocles is here deprived of its quality of tragedy ; the actions are there, but lived not. Here and there, the distribution is fraught with a text below the intensity that she can testify.

The appropriation has largely sanitized the work of its tragic dimension, the project is another. Rather, it was erected a statue. The text is working beautifully, with a finale that invites us to rejoice a figure of heroin is paving the way for a better future, in a wave of optimism — which will recall the shift from Sophocles to Euripides, depending on the angle nietzschean of The birth of tragedy. But when we announced this future where environment and women will be at the forefront, there is already more.

Rid of its tragedy, this version of’Antigone claimant leaves us at a distance, the spectators. The room, in this sense, leaves us in a position that, precisely, it seeks to denounce.


Text : reappropriation of the text of Sophocles by Rébecca Déraspe, Annick Lefebvre and Pascale Renaud-Hébert. Directed by : Olivier Arteau. At the Trident, until 30 march.