French playwright Jean Anouilh adapted Sophocles’ Greek tragedy Antigone in 1944, during the Nazi occupation. I’m sure it worked then, as the Hollywood Fringe program states, as “a meditation on justice in a contemporary era of indifference and futility while exploring the ambiguous and disturbing moral dilemmas of the time.” Unfortunately Barbara Bray’s translation has modernized it too much, draining it of most of its drama. Joseph Matarrese’s slack direction and the soft spoken line delivery by the majority of the cast in the tiny playing space only add to the production’s gray toned hue.
Brittany Kilcoyne McGregor’s Antigone has the requisite fire and rebelliousness of a sister sworn to duty against the wishes of her king and uncle. Miguel Perez’s Creon is a good match for her as the king trying to establish order in the realm after a revolt left both of Antigone’s brothers dead on the field of battle. He had hard choices to make and he struggles with his aim to enforce them, even if it means sentencing his own niece and soon to be daughter-in-law to a horrible death.
Asylum Lab, 1078 Lillian Way in Hollywood. June 25, 26. www.hollywoodfringe.org