Sewell, Sean (2018) The Use Of Circus Elements To Illuminate The Text Within Sophocles’ Antigone. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This thesis is presented in conjunction with my production of Antigone performed at the University of Huddersfield on the 15th and 16th of June 2017. The production aimed to examine the use of circus elements to illuminate the text within Sophocles’ Antigone. This was done by training one second year student and six first year students in various circus techniques which were then applied to the ancient Greek drama of Antigone.

Sophocles’ Antigone is an ancient Greek tragedy, set in Thebes, which pits a tyrannical ruler, Creon, and his own niece, Antigone, against one another. Creon threatens death to anyone caught burying Antigone’s brother, Polynices. Antigone breaks this law to adhere to the divine laws of the gods and pay respect to her brother. Antigone is caught, Creon convicts her of her crime, which he later pays a heavy price for; the loss of his niece, son and wife.

Using some key aspects from Peta Tait and Katie Lavers’ working definition of circus: liveness, risk, extreme physical action, music, lighting, acrobatics, and using the audience’s expectations to surprise and excite them (Tait & Lavers, 2016, p.6), the thesis demonstrates where the synergy of circus and Antigone was researched to examine where these aspects could illuminate the text.

Observations of the characters Antigone, Creon and The Chorus, and how these observations affected the character development are also included. The findings during the rehearsal process and an analysis of some aspects of the performance are also included in the thesis, examining where the use of circus elements has been effective, particularly, the use of physical acts and clowning.

Sean Sewell FINAL THESIS.PDF - Accepted Version
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