Halifax’s Square Chapel Arts hosts world premiere of new take on theatre classic

The newly refurbished Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax, has been selected as the venue to host the world premiere of Antigone by the Actors of Dionysus
The newly refurbished Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax, has been selected as the venue to host the world premiere of Antigone by the Actors of Dionysus

The newly refurbished Square Chapel Arts Centre, in the heart of Halifax, has been selected to host the world premiere of Antigone by the Actors of Dionysus.

Antigone will be premiered on Thursday, September 14, at 8pm with a second performance on Friday, September 15, at 7.30pm.

Actors of Dionysus rehearsing Antigone

Actors of Dionysus rehearsing Antigone

David McQuillan, Director of Square Chapel Arts Centre said: “I am delighted our first big theatre production this season is Antigone, in partnership with Actors of Dionysus.

“I particularly wanted them back for our opening season as, when I started working here, 14 years ago, that was the first show I came to see here at Square Chapel, realising what an incredible place it was, and even more so now with the new cultural quarter.”

This blistering new adaptation begins in the aftermath of a violent battle for the control of Thebes. Antigone’s two brothers, Polynices and Eteocles, have both died. The new ruler Creon declares that Eteocles will be honoured, while the rebel Polynices will not be buried but left in limbo to relive his death over and over again for all eternity. Antigone’s grief turns to defiance. She dares to take a stand for what she believes in and comes up against Creon’s authority.

This production combines bold ideas with passionate and visceral physical theatre, say Actors of Dionysus. Directed by aod’s Artistic Director Tamsin Shasha and written by British-American playwright, Christopher Adams (Lynchburg and Haunts), Antigone will tour the UK from September 14, after it has premiered in Halifax.

Actors of Dionysus specialise in new adaptations inspired by ancient Greek Drama and Greek myths. They have been producing and touring plays both in the UK and internationally for over 24 years. In this ground-breaking production, the company have created a dystopian Antigone inspired by Sophocles’ original play.

On adapting this Greek classic, director Tamsin Shasha said: “At the heart of this production is aod’s desire to challenge audience perceptions and transform ancient themes into relevant, urgent and powerful theatre.

“We want this intrinsic part of our dramatic heritage to remain accessible to modern audiences.”

Alongside the tour will be an extensive programme of workshops for schools and colleges - aod’s Education Officer, Mark Katz said “We have a passionate commitment to our young people and students. We offer practical workshops for A’ Level Theatre Studies, GCSE Drama and Classics students to support their learning and help them deepen their understanding of this text.” aod have also created a unique Antigone education pack for teachers, exploring the characters and themes and their relevance in today’s society.