The story of Antigone, the young woman who defied the laws of her city-state to do what she thought was right, comes back to us in countless versions, in novels, films and plays. Irish writers, from Seamus Heaney to Colm Tóibín, have been particularly drawn to the drama of conscience and courage that plays out in the original tragedy by Sophocles, and have made many new adaptations and translations of it.
Conall Morrison and Colin Murphy, two theatre-makers who have delved into the conflicts at the heart of Antigone, talk about its resonances and relevance right now, in 2020. Join them for an in-depth conversation online with arts journalist and broadcaster, Paula Shields.
This online discussion will be available to watch on Sunday, November 15th, here, from 2.15 p.m. onwards. No registration required.
See also our screening of a new film of Antigone, set in present day Montreal, on the Irish Film Institute's IFI@HOME video-on-demand service.
Conall Morrison is a theatre director and playwright. He has directed twenty plays for the Abbey Theatre - most recently co-directing The Great Hunger in the grounds of IMMA - and has directed for the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Cameron Mackintosh Productions, and for many leading independent companies. He has twice won the Irish Times Theatre Award for Best Director, and twice won the award for Best Production.
His adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone, informed by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, originally had an Irish tour and was subsequently presented in the Northern Irish Stormont parliament. For the Abbey Theatre his version of Euripides Bacchae, The Bacchae of Baghdad, was set in the Green Zone.
As well as several original plays, he has written numerous adaptations, either of extant plays or drawn from other source material. Recent work as writer-director: The Travels of Jonathan Swift, inspired by Swift’s works, for Blue Raincoat; Woyzeck in Winter, his fusion of Buchner’s Woyzeck and Schubert’s Winterreise, for Landmark Theatre Company/Barbican Theatre, London.
Colin Murphy is a writer for stage and screen and currently a recipient of an Axis Assemble bursary. His version of Antigone, which is supported by an Arts Council Covid-19 Crisis Response Award, will have its début as a public reading on November 28th, online, hosted by LexIcon, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin.
He has a long association with Fishamble, which has commissioned his many political dramas, including Haughey/Gregory, Inside the GPO, Guaranteed! and Bailed Out! He adapted the latter two for screen as The Guarantee, which was nominated for an IFTA, and The Bailout. Fishamble intends to produce his new play, The Treaty, about the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, for the centenary next year. He is also a journalist and documentary maker, writing a weekly column for the Business Post.
Paula Shields is a writer, researcher and interviewer. An esteemed arts journalist since the 1990s, she has worked in London and Dublin in print, television and now radio – on Arena, RTE’s flagship arts show. Other professional highlights include originating and researching the IFTA award-winning TV documentary, Fairytale of New York, in 2017 and judging the 2017 and 2018 Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards.