Antigone (BAM)
Closed 1h 40m
Antigone (BAM)
78

Antigone (BAM) NYC Reviews and Tickets

78%
(17 Reviews)
Positive
76%
Mixed
24%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Clever, Thought-provoking, Resonant

About the Show

As part of BAM's Next Wave Festival, this new translation directed by Ivo Van Hove features Juliette Binoche as the rebellious and intense Antigone.

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Member Reviews (17)

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80
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Intense

See it if You are okay with seeing a dark play. Don't expect to laugh. Follow the story line. Gripping.

Don't see it if You are looking for comedy.

55
Confusing, Edgy, Overrated, Slow, Glacial

See it if (Saw in Edinburgh) You really insist on seeing a different take on this Greek classic. Go see other productions if you like Van Hove.

Don't see it if Yea, skip this one. Zero intensity, pace was horrible. I love Antigone. I was really bored. Even Binoche's talent can't save it. Set was ok.

Critic Reviews (26)

The New York Times
September 27th, 2015

"In portraying this tale of civic and private wills at loggerheads, Mr. van Hove’s 'Antigone' unfolds with the clinical detachment of a professor of anatomy cutting into a universal cadaver...'Antigone' is more narcotizing than upsetting. This is not for want of heavy emoting from the ensemble. Ms. Binoche, as the fatally rebellious daughter, and Patrick O’Kane, as her antagonist, Creon, can be found writhing in the depths of agony...Yet somehow they never grab us by the guts."
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Time Out New York
September 29th, 2015

"At its best, this production sweeps away 3000 years of knowledge to deliver us at the feet of angry gods. It's flawed, absolutely, but also too rare to miss...There's still a sense of haste in some of his choices. The fundamentals of the production, including the performances and treatment of Carson's ravishing text, are beautiful. But its framing is haphazard, particularly the ending, which threatens to unravel the mysteries already spun."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
September 27th, 2015

"In van Hove’s telling, the play is less about character than justice. Whether you will appreciate that depends largely on whether you like your Greek tragedy emotional or cerebral. Apparently, you have to choose...This production does everything it possibly can to argue rather than move — or, at best, to move through arguing...Apparently as uninterested in psychology as he is in sympathy, van Hove instead offers 'Antigone' as a cautionary tale about the rule of law."
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The Hollywood Reporter
September 27th, 2015

"Thoughtful, measured and more than a little dull, this 'Antigone' is not so much melodrama as meh-drama...Despite its contemporary relevance, the play suffers here from the mannered, modernistic approach of the acclaimed Belgian director...It's not just the modern dress and the set, or the ever-trendy video projections. It's more that the staging moves at a glacial pace, with the actors too often reciting their lines in a soft-spoken monotone that quickly proves tedious."
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AM New York
October 1st, 2015

"Director Ivo von Hove works against its compelling and compact nature by slowing it down to an unbearable pace. Much of the dialogue is recited without emotion. The abstract design scheme, which contrasts a blazing sun and empty desert with a contemporary office and sofa, is intriguing but puzzling."
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Theatermania
September 28th, 2015

"Director van Hove gives 'Antigone' a contemporary urgency by keeping one foot in Sophocles' ancient world and another planted squarely in the present...This production makes clear that 'Antigone' has as much to say to today's audiences as it did to Sophocles'...Together van Hove and Sophocles try to teach us a timeless lesson about the dangers of extremist thought and the need for compromise. It's a lesson that, millennia later, we have yet to learn."
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CurtainUp
September 25th, 2015

"It's unfortunate that van Hove wasn't able to point his leading lady in the right direction. But with its otherwise excellent cast and the director's sense of both the minimal and the grand, 'Antigone' is haunting. It's not exactly focused, but perhaps, like the projections, that's intentional. "
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Exeunt Magazine
October 3rd, 2015

"Unfortunately, van Hove’s ultra clean – and can I say 'older?' – production avoided any conflict or contemporary issues and catered to a safe middle ground...The play’s theme of religion over politics is a big question still. I would have liked to see van Hove, of all directors out there, take the opportunity of Antigone to challenge us a little more. Instead, he plays it safe all around, with star casting and big visuals."
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The Wrap
September 28th, 2015

"Fans of the Belgian director won’t be disappointed by this modern-dress production, which turns the ruler Kreon into a 21st-century fascist...Van Hove’s productions aren’t always easy to watch, and this 'Antigone,' set in some desert landscape, is no exception. There’s a huge bright disc of a sun nearly blinding the audience at the beginning of the drama and again at the end...The production’s high point isn’t any of Kreon’s scenes with Antigone but with his son and Antigone’s fiance."
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Newsday
September 28th, 2015

"The headliner -- and riveting center -- of 'Antigone' is Juliette Binoche in a lucid, vibrant, terrifically reasonable modern translation by poet Anne Carson...Although the iconoclastic Belgian director's brilliance, and often his outrageousness, are well known throughout Europe and in downtown Manhattan, the stark, fast-moving updated 'Antigone' is the kickoff of the city's unofficial van Hove year...It is elegant and thoughtfully moving in its tragic horror."
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Stage and Cinema
September 27th, 2015

"There is gravity to the playing space which echoes the gravity of what is happening in it. And while Mr. van Hove’s 'Antigone' isn’t a masterpiece, it is an excellent show, a work of art, inspired, thoughtful, in which everything clicks, and which stays with you after the performance is over."
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Edge New York
September 30th, 2015

"'Antigone' has been treated to an Anne Carson translation so alive that its run might be extended for another 2,500 years...While not without stumbles, van Hove paced the production so well it felt more like a gripping dirge than the variety of Greek revival that has challenged the genre's box office -- histrionics and boredom taking turns. The actors spoke softly and slowly, vessels of the material."
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F
October 1st, 2015

"Mediocre in pretty much every way...The play suffers from an odd combination of tonal self-importance and intentional (but clunkily executed) modern banalization. Still, through a series of not-so-palatable choices and underwhelming performances, it oddly does seem to interrogate and humanize Antigone’s acts."
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The New York Times
March 25th, 2015
For a previous production

"There’s scant cheer — not to mention engagement — to be found in the production of 'Antigone'...A stripped-back, abstract set in the minimalist style, but without the energy required to fire up the current staging’s savage debate between the personal and the political...Mr. van Hove’s attempt to be timeless actually speaks to no time at all. You emerge not dazed and enlightened but glad to get out."
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Variety
March 6th, 2015
For a previous production

"'Antigone' becomes a plea for pluralism in Ivo Van Hove’s new staging...the Belgian director turns Sophocles’s tragedy into a rallying cry against the us-and-them, black-and-white mentality of contemporary global politics. Anne Carson’s new translation, often insistently feminist, advocates the act of listening as the starting point of tolerance. It might lack feeling, but this is an urgent 'Antigone,' less about cathartic release than a real-world response."
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The Telegraph (UK)
March 5th, 2015
For a previous production

"There’s no getting away from it, though: I’m afraid it’s pretty lacklustre stuff...there’s a hole at the heart of this 90-minute affair; that elusive ability to make us make care...At the end, we get a surprise blast of the Velvet Underground’s 'Heroin' and the evening acquires a sudden upsurge of energy; alas, this rebellious shot in the arm comes too late to save the day."
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The Independent (UK)
March 6th, 2015
For a previous production

"On paper, this is a de luxe proposition. Sophocles' play is one of the greatest and most inextricably unresolvable of Greek tragedies...In practice, however, it turns out to be an undeniably impressive but strangely unmoving experience – deliberate to a fault, full of thought-provoking interpretive decisions, yet incapable of grabbing you by the gut."
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The London Evening Standard
March 20th, 2015
For a previous production

"This austere and slow-moving production, from Belgian director Ivo van Hove, isn’t set anywhere specific. Instead its location is an odd mix of drab office and an ethereal dreamscape that shimmers with video footage. The effect is strange and unsettling...Van Hove marshals his cast of eight with steely precision...But the production at times lacks emotional weight, and it feels a little disappointing."
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Financial Times (UK)
March 6th, 2015
For a previous production

"Listening is key in this production. It is deliberately understated, playing many of the arguments at conversational level, with the actors miked up. This is alienating at first, but it forces you to listen carefully. You hear Anne Carson’s wonderful new translation — supple, salty and vivid — and you hear the twisting and turning of the play...It’s a flawed production...But gradually the staging exerts a strange, transfixing spell."
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BritishTheatre.com
March 16th, 2015
For a previous production

"if you are open to the possibility that Greek tragedy can tap into the fears and troubles of any generation, then this is an irresistible production, compelling and disturbing...This is a vibrant and completely absorbing take on a classic from the Ancient Greek repertoire. The cast excels under van Hove’s centred, firm vision and all aspects of the production blend to triumphant results. It will leave you pondering the relationship between power and the individual, the state and tradition."
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What's On Stage (UK)
March 6th, 2015
For a previous production

"It starts so well, and so portentously...van Hove here attempts to have his Attic cake and eat it: ancient hubris with modern humanity. It doesn't work, not least because the vocal attributes of the cast are tinged with a horrid membrane of amplification and the stately motion of the actors around the stage is not matched by any uprush of demonic power or beauty."
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Express UK
March 19th, 2015
For a previous production

"An enormous disc slides away like an eclipse revealing and, ultimately, blotting out the sun. Vague and non-specific, it is a device that fudges issues all over the place – we could be anywhere from North Africa to Damascus...Van Hove clearly dislikes histrionics and damps down the actors almost to a monotone...The actors often sound like they are on the verge of flatlining; it may be achingly fashionable but it is rather dull to listen to."
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Daily Mail (UK)
March 6th, 2015
For a previous production

"Mademoiselle Binoche may be the big draw, but there is more to it than that. Director Ivo van Hove goes for a modern-dress approach which, with Anne Carson’s informal new translation, gives it a sprightly tone...this is a fine, unusual, teenager-silencing show."
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The Guardian (UK)
March 8th, 2015
For a previous production

"Greek tragedy, when performed superlatively, is unmediated – nothing stands in the way of emotion. I was not even faintly moved by this version of the tragedy, and it did not help that the actors’ voices were amplified, as if in acknowledgment of the production’s lack of reach. Sometimes it wasn’t even instantly evident who was speaking – where the sound was coming from."
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The Arts Desk
March 6th, 2015
For a previous production

"It’s elegantly staged, with a marvellous new translation by Anne Carson that crackles with canny colloquialism and insight, features one of the best, most robust Greek choruses I’ve encountered and makes the play feel almost shockingly relevant...At times, however, Binoche is too manic, too shouty, mincing her words, belying the clarity of the text. And then you feel the audience leaving her."
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C
March 13th, 2015
For a previous production

"After an atmospheric opening in a windswept desert, we are left marooned in a bland foyer. The screen at the rear, though possessed of a startling sun-shaped hole, is constantly bedecked with trite images of contemporary life...This is by no means a disaster. But, for a collaboration between three artists who have forged careers out of reinvention, it is disappointingly beige."
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