Ödipus und Antigone

The case seems simple enough: one brother defends his hometown against the attack of the other. Both fall. The defender is given a funeral of honour with a salute, the other remains lying in the dirt outside the town.

But the history of this family is extremely complex and characterised by paedophilia, incest, murder, child abduction, expulsion and suicide. The survivors become embroiled in a dispute over the care of the dead, leading to the downfall of their home and the town.

Fate, one would say, and not worry any further about the self-made problems of a ruling dynasty if it weren't for the ancient theatre and its authors, who filtered a conflict out of the royal saga that still persistently questions society and its foundations today. For over 2500 years, theatre makers and audiences have been puzzling over this text, trying to decipher the positions in the dispute between faith and reason, individual and community, law and justice. Ersan Mondtag tells the story of Antigone in the context of the myth of Antigone's father Oedipus. Oedipus, brother and father, husband and son, tried to escape his fate, only to realise in the end that there is no escape. Disillusioned, he surrenders power, gouges out his eyes and flees the city.
But the story goes on. It is not a special moral case, but part of a lineage of violence, failure, repression and lies, of love and the longing for things to get better.

Photo credit: Armin Smailovic


17. February 2017 – 17. April 2018