Holy What – the new theatre company formed by playwright Lulu Raczka, director Ali Pidsley and producer Imogen Clare-Wood to produce irreverent, character-based writing that interrogates theatrical form – has announced their first production, an all-female update of Sophocles’ Antigone.
This reinvention retains the epic drama of Sophocles’ original tale about the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta but brings the relationship between Antigone and her sister Ismene to the forefront. Giving the stage solely to the two teenage, female protagonists creates a playful, funny and ultimately timeless coming of age story.
Antigone will be played by Annabel Baldwin, who originated the role of Moaning Myrtle in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and went on to play Delphi in the same production the following year. Ismene will be played by Rachel Hosker, a founding member of acclaimed movement and game-based theatre company Pappyshow who performed in their hit production Girls and has also starred in LostWatch’s Left My Desk at New Diorama.
Holy What’s debut production was acclaimed noir dystopian thriller A Girl in School Uniform (Walks into a Bar), while Lulu Raczka and Ali Pidsley previously collaborated on hit plays Nothing and Some People Talk About Violence. Lulu Raczka also writes for television and radio and in 2019 won the BBC Audio Drama Awards ‘Imison Award’ for best original script by a newcomer to radio.
Their second production sees them interrogate a classic by exploring the untold stories before and after the events of Antigone, and giving more weight to the decisions which define the central relationship and the gender dynamics throughout, driving them towards tragedy.
Antigone will employ modern language but retain the epic weight of a Greek tragedy, with two storytellers exploring the idea of deconstruction and reconstruction, of rebirth and reinvention.
Antigone will be at New Diorama 7th January to 1st February 2020.