Русская версия


Tragedy by Sophocles

Translated by Dmitry Merezhkovsky





Eberhard Köhler (Germany)

Assistant director:

Valentin Levitsky

Stage & costumes:

Danila Korogodsky

Costume production:

Nika Velegzhaninova

Scenery production:

Geoffrey Eisenman (USA)


Irina Cannabona (Switzerland)

The performance will include music from Angelika Ionatas and Nina Venetsanu, Alla Bu, Kevin Volans, Eleni Karaindrou and Christoph Willibald Gluck.

Characters and cast



Aleksander Bargman/Sergei Mardar


Antigone, Haemon,

2nd messenger

Svetlana Smirnova




1st messenger,



Teiresia’s servant

Anna Dunaeva



Stepan Beketov, Lyubov Levitskaya, Viktoriya Nekrilova, Yelena Polyakova, Vladimir Postnikov, Natalya Topkova, Aleksei Chuev, Artyom Shilov

The performance will last 2 hours

The play was first staged around 440 b.c.

Thebes, 452 b.c. War has just ended. Both heirs to the throne, brothers Eteocles and Polynices fought against each other and died. Their uncle, Creon, becomes King of Thebes. He proclaims a new order in the state whereby peace may no longer be destroyed at the expense of personal interests.  However, in his way stands his nephew, Antigone…


The play’s director-producer, Eberhard Köhler, on Antigone:


I have worked on “Antigone” several times and each time I begin from nothing, each time afresh and each time I find something unexpected. I worked on it several times as a student and then later with my student actors. In 1991 when I started my professional career, I was an assistant producer at the state theatre in Saarbrücken. We put on a performance of three of Sophocles tragedies in a single evening: “King Oedipus”, “Oedipus at Colonus” and “Antigone”. In 2001 I directed “Antigone" myself using an outstanding translation by Friedrich Hölderlin (a German poet at the time of the French Revolution), staged in a large venue for an audience of around 800 in Berne, the capital of Switzerland. We had just started rehearsals when the terrorist atrocities of September 11 took place and the world again somehow undergone a change.


The play begins before dawn and ends after sunset, once again back in darkness. During the course of this, one day we become witness to a battle between two worldviews: a contemporary, western, democratic style of politics (which is also imperialistic, believing that it is the only way for society to develop) and a conservative, radical, fundamental religious view (which also declares the superiority of individual freedom).  And thus we become witness to the clashes between these cultures.


There are many borders in a globalising world: those, which were formed as part of the historical, development of society (for example, between languages, cultures, traditions, climate) and those, which were artificially created by people (such as borders between countries, religions and even between generations and genders).


We will see that the people of 2459 years ago were also interested in this. The theatre as an artistic solution to this decided that just three actors should play all the roles and they should change social status (elder to servant), age and even gender in front of the audience's very eyes. And if in your eyes the actor changes status, age, gender, then it should become clearer to you that all borders are artificial and that it is mere chance on which side of the each divide you end.


Unlike the main characters, the chorus in the ancient Greek theatre spoke in a foreign tongue or in an ancient dialect so that the audience couldn’t understand them. During all their “stasimas”, the chorus would dance and then turn into Cadmean elders during the acts.


My intention was to explore what happens if we use some of these devices from ancient theatre. I am curious as to whether we can successfully tell this story about responsibility which still resonates for us today but using such devices.


I also wanted to ask these questions:

- Is it possible to be a freedom fighter and a religious fundamentalist at the same time?

- If your intention is to stop bloody civil wars and if your ideal is a society in which equality is more important than personal or family interests, religion or traditions, are you permitted to use force or even violence to achieve your goal?

- Is there a higher order or is all in the universe managed by chance?

- What happens if all your actions, all of your steps can be tracked by the powers that be?

- What is the danger of stubbornly following your own opinion without compromising and on the other hand what is the danger of behaving like a weathercock?

 The show was performed in 2007