Roy Williams' ANTIGONE to Tour UK Beginning in September

Roy Williams' ANTIGONE to Tour UK Beginning in September

Following the critical success of his recent plays Kingston 14 at Theatre Royal Stratford East and Pilot Theatre's touring production of The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, the acclaimed and award-winning playwright Roy Williams is once again set to join forces with York-based Pilot Theatre, this time to bring Sophocles' Antigone up to date in a bold new contemporary version of the classic Greek tragedy that will be relevant to today's audiences.

Directed by Pilot Theatre's Artistic Director Marcus Romer and co-produced with Derby Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East, Antigone will premiere in Derby on the 19 September, where it plays until 4 October before touring nationally until 29 November. The production will then open in London at Theatre Royal Stratford East on 19 February 2015.

Williams' new version of Antigone re-imagines Sophocles' tale about loyalty and truth, human nature and human behaviour in a contemporary setting creating a new piece of theatre that will reverberate with today's audiences whilst also illustrating Pilot's excellent reputation for creating innovative work in new and exciting ways for a young theatre audience.

Roy Williams is one of the country's leading contemporary playwrights. His recent works include Kingston 14 (Theatre Royal Stratford East), The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Pilot Theatre/ UK Tour), the Olivier nominated Sucker Punch (Royal Court Theatre), Fallout (Royal Court Theatre), Sing Yer Heart out for the Lads (National Theatre). This will be the third time that Williams has worked with Pilot Theatre - the other two being the successful touring productions of The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner and Sing Yer Heart out for the Lads.

Williams said on adapting the classic Greek play: "I was intrigued to know if it was possible to set Antigone in a world that I have written about before, i.e. the gangster culture that is too often the life of a lot of young people today."

"It has always disturbed me to hear young people say that being in a gang makes them feel powerful. But as we all know power does corrupt. Creon begins the play feeling all-powerful with his gang running 'tings' in Thebes. It is almost like he and others like him, have put aside other feelings that make us human, like love, insecurity, fear, and masculinity, in favour of a "live fast, die young" mentality. "

Pilot Theatre aim to inspire creativity and new ways of thinking and are strategic innovators in the field of digital networks and leaders in the delivery and distribution of work for, by and with young people. Last year the company received much acclaim for their production of Blood + Chocolate.

Artistic Director of Pilot Theatre Marcus Romer said about the technical aspects of the forthcoming production: "We will be using cameras integrated into the set, watching the characters' every moves - the CCTV behaving like the all-seeing Gods watching and recording all the activity as it unfolds."

Antigone's cast will feature Doreen Blackstock (The Container, Young Vic) as Eunice; Gamba Cole (Kingston 14, Theatre Royal Stratford East) as Eamon ; Savannah Gordon-Liburd (Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Pilot Theatre) as Antigone; Luke James (Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Pilot Theatre) as Guard; Mark Monero (One Man Two Guvnors, National Tour) as Creon; Sean Sagar (Ill Manors) as Soldier 3/Sentry; Frieda Thiel (My Brother the Devil) as Esme; Lloyd Thomas(Buried Child, Leicester Curve) as Soldier 2 and Oliver Wilson (Henry V, Propeller Theatre Company and Blue/Orange, National Tour) as Soldier 1/Tyrese.

The production is designed by Joanna Scotcher (The Railway Children, Waterloo Station), lighting by Alexandra Stafford (See How They Run, York Theatre Royal) and music by Sandy Nuttgens (The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Pilot Theatre).

Antigone will open at Derby Theatre from the 19 September to the 4 October and then tour to Northern Stage; Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham; Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield; York Theatre Royal; Watford Palace Theatre; The Gulbenkian, Canterbury; Theatre Royal Winchester and Exeter Northcott Theatre. The production will play again in London at Theatre Royal Stratford East from the 19 Feb-14 March.

The production will be supported by an extensive National Schools' programme which will be run alongside the tour. The programme will provide an informative education resource pack, which explores the themes and story of Antigone and their relevance to the production and in today's society, especially with young theatregoers. The programme will also be offering parallel work and workshop activities and bespoke participatory projects with the production's host co-producing venues.

Antigone is suitable for 14+

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