It is a universal truth that power corrupts. Isn’t that what they say? Aequitas Theatre Company explores unjust laws and their consequences in Sophocles’ timeless Greek tragedy Antigone. Their brand-new production, relocating the action to 1980s Britain, runs from 4 to 22 September 2018 at London’s Bread and Roses Theatre. Time to get booking!
The leadership make laws to suit their pockets. Ordinary people are worse off. Antigone wishes to bury her brother but Creon, the new leader has made it illegal.
What happens when this young woman protests an unjust law?
Set during the mid-Eighties miners’ strikes and Margaret Thatcher‘s time as Prime Minister, Aequitas’ version of Antigone looks at the universal truth that is: power corrupts.
Antigone stars Natasha Ravenscroft (Antigone), Mary Tillett (Creon) and Soroosh Lavasani (Ismene/ Haemon), who has just finished a national tour of The Kite Runner. Aequitas’ artistic director Rachael Bellis helms the show after the success of her directorial debut with a modern version of Brecht’s Fear and Misery of the Third Reich at Brockley Jack Studio Theatre.
Is the law always right?
In a recent interview with London Pub Theatres, director Rachael Bellis shares her thoughts on taking Antigone back to the Eighties:
“What’s interesting is that no one is completely right and no one is completely wrong. We do need laws. If everyone broke the law we would have anarchy. But does that mean the law is always right? That’s the tragedy of this play […] That’s where I think this really ties well to the 80’s. Countless people will call Thatcher a criminal and countless others will still defend her. I do, of course, have my own opinions as an outsider but also outside of politics: regardless of whether the mines had to close financially or politically, what was the impact on the wider community? I want to open up that dialogue.”
The 1984-85 Miners’ Strike
In March 1984, over 187,000 miners came out on strike in an attempt to prevent colliery closures. The National Coal Board had announced that 20 collieries would close causing the loss of 20,000 jobs. Communities in Northern England, Scotland and Wales would lose their main sources of employment. It was led by Arthur Scargill of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) against the National Coal Board (NCB), a government agency. The Conservative government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher called the strikers and organisers “the enemy within.” During the clashes an estimated 20, 000 people were hurt and three people were killed.
Creating theatre that represents and comments ever-changing world. Past productions have mashed technology with theatre in work that looks at sociopolitical aspects of today. Aequitas is made up of several founding members: Rachael Bellis, Sophia Start, and Chuma Emembolu. The company is committed to equality and justice and is named after that principle in Greek philosophy. Aequitas works with artists of all backgrounds and is committed to casting diversely.