The story of A Rock in the Water is quite simple. After a lengthy and bloody civil war, the new King (Creon) is trying to heal a broken country. There were two rival brothers who caused the war and they are now both dead. He decrees that the brother who led the winning faction should be buried with full honours and the other brother must rot outside the city walls. The King has decreed and the law is the law – and must be obeyed by everybody. Creon?s niece Antigone is the sister of the two slain brothers. Her family and moral duty is to bury her traitorous brother. So here we have the immovable object (Creon) and the irresistible force (Antigone).
Scholars believe that when Sophocles first wrote the Tale of Antigone in the fourth century BC it was an attack on Pericles and the new democracy of Athens. For Pericles’ democracy to work it had to override both local and family traditions. The success of the play reflected that Sophocles was not alone with that thought. Since then the story of Antigone has been a constant source for interpretation. Theatre, Dance and Opera have all explored her story.
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Sample: The Rock in the Water
This is a story as old as time. Conscience versus State. There are some that could argue that in our modern times both Julian Assange and Aung San Suu Kyi are still dancing this eternal dance. We all face this dilemma in both minor and major incarnations – what to do when you believe you are right even when the government, your peer group and your family and friends tell you that you are wrong?
Simon Denver’s adaption of this classic Greek tale has won awards at every theatre festival it’s been entered in to. And with good reason. It’s not only challenging for the actors but causes ripples in the audience for them to contemplate – if they were in such a horrible situation as Antigone, would they follow their heads, or their hearts?
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