Owen McCafferty

Mon 17th August to Sat 22nd August 2009


Claire Wood

Quaker Meeting House(map)


Antigone was written in 441 BC at a time of national fervor.  Chronologically it is the third of the three Theban plays written by Sophocles but was in fact written first. 

For a play written in a time of heightened imperialism, it is surprising that the text contains no political propaganda, no impassioned apostrophe, makes not a single contemporary allusion or passing reference to Athens, and betrays no patriotic interests whatsoever.  Rather than being sidetracked with the issues of the time, Antigone remains completely focused on the characters and themes within the play: family, natural vs man-made law and civil disobedience. 

The adaptation by Northern Irish playwright Owen McCafferty, marks McCafferty’s third treatment of an existing text.  Set in the aftermath of a civil war, Sophocles’ tragedy has intense resonance in post-conflict Northern Ireland.  While McCafferty does not update the action explicitly, his urgent and eloquent language achieves the transposition.