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Drama on 3

Antigone by Jean Anouilh
Translated by Barbara Bray

After the deaths of Antigone’s brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices, the king Creon, orders that Polynices’s body be left unburied, rotting under the sun. Antigone, however is hell-bent on burying her brother, in full knowledge that she will be killed for defying the law; free from dictatorship, she is liberated, and ‘can be herself at last’.

This powerful play was an instant success when first staged in Paris in 1944. It represented the French Resistance movement against the forces of the Vichy government during Nazi occupation. It takes on a new, profound significance today exploring personal and political truth and liberty, and action versus passivity.

Prologue-Chorus ….. Jonathan Keeble
Creon ….. Sean Bean
Antigone ….. Rosy McEwen
Ismene ….. Norah Lopez-Holden
Nurse ….. Maureen Beattie
Haemon/Messenger ….. Joseph Ayre
Jonus ….. Owen Whitelaw

Introduction by Professor Emma Smith from Hertford College, Oxford
Production Co-ordinator – Gaelan Davis-Connolly
Sound by Andrew Garratt, and Alison Craig
Adapted, and directed by Pauline Harris

A BBC Studios Audio Production for BBC Radio 3

Further info:-
This is the first audio production in 40 years, and Sean Bean’s first Audio Drama in 25 years. Sean has recently won Leading Actor BAFTA’s and International Emmy Awards for his performances in Jimmy McGovern’s Time, Broken and Accused for BBC One. He co-starred in Marriage, BBC, “Pitch Perfect” The Guardian.

Rosy McEwen who plays Antigone makes her debut audio drama performance – McEwen had the lead role in the independent film Blue Jean released in the United Kingdom in February 2023. For the portrayal McEwen earned the award for Best Lead Performance at the British Independent Film Awards in December 2022, a category in which McEwen beat Sally Hawkins, Florence Pugh and Bill Nighy. Her performance was variously described as a “revelation”, “riveting”, and “excellent”, as well as being “a powerful, internalised performance”.

Rosy played Desdemona in Othello (Clint Dyer’s production at the National) ‘… it is Desdemona who steals this show – I have never seen the part better played. She is too often no more than a lamb to the slaughter, a trampled petal. Rosy McEwen is brave, upright, her own woman – and movingly embodies absolute trust right up to the end’. Kate Kellaway, The Observer

On screen, she appeared with Luke Evans and Dakota Fanning in the Netflix series The Alienist. She played Christopher Eccleston’s daughter in the Channel 4 miniseries Close to Me and alongside Eddie Marsan in the science fiction film Vesper. She also has an upcoming role in the Rosemary’s Baby prequel, Apartment 7A alongside Julia Garner.

Photo: Jean Anouilh, 1937

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