Seamus Heaney

from The Burial at Thebes

Performed in The Village Hall
Thurs May 28th to Sat May 30th 2009 at 7:30pm


We find ourselves in the ancient Greek city state of Thebes. It is a time of crisis, both political and personal. The catastrophic regime of King Oedipus has finally collapsed, and the ensuing civil war has been abruptly resolved. The city is now ruled by the late king's brother-in-law, Creon. He is determined to restore order through the imposition of a ruthless autocracy. The only obstacle in his path is the will of a young girl - Antigone, the youngest daughter of the disgraced former ruler Oedipus. The scene is set for a violent clash of personalities within the ruling family; but also for a deeper conflict between ideals and practicalities, and between the individual and the state. Will either party back down? Who will blink first?

For this show, the village hall was transformed into a miniature version of a traditional Greek amphitheatre to further enhance the audience's experience of this classic piece.

Director Nigel Turner's Note

The play has a stage history stretching back two and a half thousand years. At its first performance in Athens in 440 BC, it won first prize in the prestigious Festival of Drama. Since then, the text has resonated in every age and in many languages and no more so than in the present era. The last twenty years have seen a number of very successful English revivals. The Colwall Players used the very recent version by the Irish poet and playwright Seamus Heaney, first produced for the centenary of Dublin's Abbey Theatre in 2004. Heaney's version respects the tone of the original, whilst also seeking out a vigorous and modern poetic idiom.

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