Chorus: Hospital officials that begin on Creon's side and as things get worse, they edge away from him. 

Eurydice: Creon's wife who is a nurse at the hospital. Enables Creon to be served his final punishment. 

Antigone: A courageous young doctor. 

Teiresias: Elderly but wise, an expert leader of the WHO. 

Creon: A hospital official puffed up with power. Only interested in the political and social order. 

Haemon: Antigone's fiance and Creon's son. Follows Antigone to a tragic demise. 

Messenger: Typical figure of Greek drama. Pale and solitary boy who bears the news of death. Male nurse.

1 of 10

Links to Artaud and modern concept intentions

  • Appeals to the emotions of the audience rather than the intellect
  • Theatre's roots in religion and ritual
  • The audience are not just spectators but participants
  • The vortex space was a key influence for Artaud
  • An intense, sensory and immersive experience for the audience. 

Modern concept: Intentions

  • To highlight the themes of power and religion
  • To create a contemporary Artaudian experience
  • To warn the audience that they tamper with the natural world at their peril
  • To communicate a disturbing, dystopian impression of 21st century life
2 of 10


Originally set in an amphitheatre with simple outdoor staging elements. Theatre as a place of worship was a key influence on Artaud. Artaud saw theatre's roots in religion and ritual, with the audience as participants not just spectators. 

In my modern concept, my performance will be based in a vortex space with a sense of theatre in the round.

The intended impact on the audience is a sense of action surrounding them, with curtained off isolation rooms around the edge.

The vortex will invite the audience to participate in this disturbing and unsettling performance.

With a waiting area and recognisable pandemic accessories and procedures, this will be an assault on the audiences' senses - feeling of being 'at odds' with the natural world

3 of 10


Originally the chorus was sung and danced by 15 men dressed as the Senators of Thebes and on stage throughout. This is a clear demonstration of the ritual and ceremony of Greek theatre

In my concept, the Chorus begin as hospital officials on Creon's side and as things worsen they edge away.

The male and female chorus of 15 will be dressed in all black-caped suits with reversible masks.

They will have blue medical gloves and thermometers, representing the modern rituals of social distancing

This will have the connotations of Greek chorus robes but definitely slightly futuristic; linking to life under a pandemic.

This dystopian, sinister impact will create a familiar contemporary image that modern civilisation is under attack from nature

4 of 10

Characters / Acting

Originally the actors would use direct address, however, under the influence of Artaud I will promote stylised and expressionistic acting with elements of non-naturalism.

My modern concept will present recognisable modern archetypes, e.g. Creon as a hospital official puffed up with power and Antigone as a courageous young doctor.

The impact will be a sense of distorted reality, the characters recognisable but exaggerated.

There will certainly be elements of the hospital in their performances with temperature checks and cheek swabs. 

5 of 10

Design elements

Originally Sophocles used masks, costumes, music and sound to engage the audience's visual and aural senses.

With a mind to Artaud who had sensory theatre at the heart of the Theatre of Cruelty, I will use design elements that enhance the 'poetry of theatre'.

In my modern concept, the chorus will wear face masks when they are not singing.

This will be accompanied by projections similar to the Nightingale hospital and stage lighting that is evocative of fluorescent lighting to enhance my concept of a nightmarish hospital.

The intended impact is an urban brutalist stage with the natural environment outside.

There will be sound effects of earth rumbles and an approaching storm to contrast with the man-made sounds of the hospital to convey the idea of nature coming to take control

6 of 10

Lighting and Sound


Prevalence of side-light and red gels

Red gels used to evoke tension and emergency, fear of contagion

This taps into the universal and timeless theme of the human fear of death. 

Use of haze suggests contagion and respiration


Distorted hospital soundscape. 

Sub-woofers in the audience area to create an immersive experience. 

Key sound of the curtains being opened and shut

7 of 10


Originally the audience would have been all men in Athenian society with attendance compulsory as it was seen as part of civic duty and a form of religious worship.

My audience will be a mixed-sex, educated and theatrically literate student audience that is open to the idea of immersive theatre

The waiting area will create anxiety with the chorus among the audience so there is no differentiation between performance space and audience.

There will be references to social distancing and pandemic rules.

The audience may have the disturbing experience of sitting next to someone in PPE.

The audience will have their temperature taken as they enter the performance area to create an atmosphere of danger and threat

8 of 10

My key ideas as director / Per paragraph

To use Artuad's methods to reinterpret Antigone to have a contemporary relevance to a modern audience by creating an immersive, ritualistic experience.

The overall concept of a nightmarish hospital to communicate the chaos and dystopia of modern life under threat from a pandemic and environmental catastrophe. 


Idea, original context, Artaud link , modern concept, quote the text, intended impact. 

9 of 10

Artaud quotes

'The actor is an athelete of the heart'

'Utterly unusual sound properties' 

Susan Sontag - Artaud's impact was so great that 'the course of all recent theatre in Western Europe and the Americas can be said to divide into two periods - before Artaud and after Artaud,'. 

'The theatre is the only place in the world where a gesture, once made, can never be made in the same way twice.' 

‘The aim of an Artaud performance is to cause a real experience of discomfort and confusion in the audience that causes them to think and become involved as participants, not onlookers’. – Nick Dunning

10 of 10


No comments have yet been made

Similar Drama & Theatre Studies resources:

See all Drama & Theatre Studies resources »See all Antigone resources »