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Antigone in Molenbeek & Tiresias

To the rediscovery of Greek tragedy

Creation 2021


avec Guy Cassiers (staging), Quatuor Debussy

Quartet n°15 opus 144 in E flat minor (1974)
Quartet n°8 opus 110 in C minor (1960)
Quartet n°11 opus 122 in F major (1966)

Is it a coincidence that in recent decades, all over the world, so many Greek tragedies have been adapted, rewritten and staged – more than ever before? Probably not. The destinies of their characters continue to challenge us. Especially in times of political crisis, ideological uncertainty and social unrest. At the beginning of the 21st century, we once again feel that we are living in a period of transition, full of social tensions and profound cultural changes. And at this time, the tragic founding myths remain our interlocutors in their great variety.


In a diptych, director Guy Cassiers tells the stories of Antigone and Tiresias consecutively: the tale of a young woman who stands up to authority and the story of a blind seer who was both male and female in his lifetime. Both characters are among the most fascinating figures in the heritage of antiquity. Cassiers, however, does not tell these stories in their classical form. The stories of Antigone and Tiresias have been rewritten in a contemporary idiom and in a current urban context. The script of the diptych is inspired by Antigone in Molenbeek by the Flemish writer Stefan Hertmans and by a selection of texts from Hold your own by the young British slam poet and performer Kate Tempest.


Both are not traditional theater texts with dialogue, but epic and lyrical narratives in which words and images are as important as plot and psychology. Poetic and suggestive texts that stimulate the sensory imagination and in this way evoke a subjective experience of reality.


These characters have inspired the Flemish director Guy Cassiers to create a French version of this diptych, which was first performed at the Toneelhuis in 2020. To these two monologues, on texts by Stefan Hertmans and Kate Tempest, acclaimed by the critics, will be added the music of Dmitri Shostakovich, performed by the Debussy Quartet. A breathtaking challenge to our prejudices, scheduled for 2021 at the festival Les Nuits de Fourvière.


Production MC93 – House of Culture of Seine-Saint-Denis. Coproduction Les Nuits de Fourvière, Toneelhuis.

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