A re-imaged version of the renowned Sophocles tragedy, Anti Gone, written by Evgeniya Palekhova, attempts to bring a version focusing on the relationship between Creon and Antigone exploring abuse of power. This version is performed in Russian with English subtitles which are strongly worded but hard to understand if you haven’t come prepared with the history behind the classic. This version itself feels overshadowed by the chaos of misdirection on display from the moment the lights come up resulting in comedic outbursts that in so many moments feel melodramatic instead of serious.

Oleg Sidorchik, who plays the dictator Creon, has strong acting abilities and passion that is very clear to see. However, his constant high energy does not allow for us to connect and feel sympathetic towards the more serious parts. This play is more focused on Creon, and we felt the whole story could have been set on him alone as he commands the stage for the whole one-and-a-half hours. Vlada Lemeshevska’s portrayal of Antigone is subtle and emotive in her silent self as the lead role. The strongest highlight is her ability to convey an emotional sense of memory into subject matter and certain objects from the stage itself. Her presence and focus is poignant yet mainly used for being maneuvered around and at one point being a puppet. 

The show itself has so many unnecessary moments to the story that it became very hard to watch. Some elements, such as the live camera being switched on and off throughout, seemed like a good idea on censorship but missed the mark on deliverance for how confusing it would be turned on or off every so often. Even the microphones placed and replaced by the co-lead was often used to speak to the audience but then became a back and forth use with no sense of separation from private to public moments. Some will wonder why so many moments feel too forced and dramatised which, in turn, makes it uncomfortable to watch. 

By the end of the show, the stage is covered in dirt, oats, liquids, and many apples, a visual representation to the chaos of the show. More changes in the pace of this play would make a world of difference. This version of a two-handed play currently feels more one-sided and narrow in its deliverance. With elements rewritten and a change of focus, this could be an innovative piece of contextual envisioning with a strong platform to Russian spoken text.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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