WHAT else would be a fitting first performance at Bradfield College’s newly-reopened Greek ampitheatre than the production which first graced its stage in 1890?
Sophocles’ tragic tale of Antigone will mark the re-opening of the theatre following its closure for £1.3million renovation works completed in March this year. The restoration, funded entirely by donations to the co-educational school, have seen the removal of a replica Greek ‘temple’ as well as the introduction of a viewing platform where visitors are afforded an aerial view of the entire theatre.
New handrails have been installed and some of the arena seats, which were cut out of a disused chalkpit in 1888, have been renovated.
It is a deliberate choice of director and head of drama Julia Crossley to return to the first Greek production staged at the theatre, created in the likeness of a 15,000-seater ampitheatre in Epidaurus in Greece.
She said: “It is completely faithful to the traditional story of Antigone. We wanted to be as authentic as possible because it is the first play we did in Greek. We have kept to the original performance conditions as much as possible.