Mynniscus is hungover to f**k and feels more inclined to sit weeping and guzzling cheese balls than to reprise his celebrated role of Antigone in Sophocles’ classic story. Theodorus does his best to shore up his confidence while Callipedes does his best to cut him down – as he’d be a far better Antigone. Theodorus wins the day so Mynniscus takes to the stage to recount the cheerless tale of the girl who defies her father to bury her dead brother.
This is a boisterous, funny, bawdy, expletive-filled retelling of the story from Out Cast Theatre. Bitch, Antigone says it all really. The three actors are in a sort of drag – though it’s hard to tell where togas are concerned. They shimmer in golden robes, with golden hair and golden crowns. Antigone has golden face paint. For all the posturing and pontificating, this is a pretty faithful rendering of the story delivered with vigour, vitality and tongues firmly in cheeks.
Steven Dawson is the writer as well as the leading ‘lady’ and his script zips along with some genuinely funny lines. Matthew Roberts has the perfect voice and gravitas for Greek tragedy, though it’s well hidden in his flighty Creon. Now and again, he seemed to fumble for his words but this may have been intentional buffoonery – and the audience didn’t seem to mind. Scott Middleton’s wide-eyed Ensemble and Mean Girls meets Ismene are great fun.
The script’s momentum peters out a little as the story approaches its morbid climax – but then so does Antigone. The humour’s camp innuendo isn’t graced with a whole lot of subtlety and may seem a bit samey for some but if you love watching men dressed more or less as women or posing as effeminate men, this may be bliss, Grecian-style.