Polynices has lost his live on the battlefield. The law dictates that he may not be buried. His sisters Antigone and Ismene take very different perspectives on the matter. Ismene chooses to obey the law and stay alive, while Antigone ignores her family’s advice and follows her own ideals, paying for her courage with death.

Almost 2500 years on, how should we interpret the choices they made? Antigone weighs up the two sisters’ ideas. It’s not easy to take sides with one or the other. What is good; what is evil? Their internal motives are revealed in a manipulative game played between performers and puppets.

The puppets were made in Japan especially for this production by Watanabe Kazunori in the Bunraku theatre tradition.

Antigone, the collaborative work by choreographer Nicole Beutler and theatre maker Ulrike Quade, is a visual adaptation of the Greek tragedy written by Sophocles in 442BC. The co-directors couple the themes explored by the original with current issues, focusing on the question of how free our actions truly are.

,,The perfection (…) is visible in the genious puppetry and acting, they effortlessly melt the art of Bunraku with their own performance.’’

★★★★ Volkskrant (Marcelle Schots)

,Breathtakingly realistic.’’

★★★ NRC Handeslblad (Mirjam van der Linden)

,,Beautiful puppetry (…) who moves whom in that battle? You almost believe that there is a real being fighting against human violence.’’

De Standaard BE (Herien Wensink)


Antigone is a coproduction with NBprojects and was supported by Grand Theatre Groningen, Frascati Amsterdam, Fonds Podium Kunsten en de Gemeente Amsterdam

Idea and direction: Nicole Beutler & Ulrike Quade
On stage: Hillary Blake Firestone of Silke Hundertmark, Michele Rizzo of Pere Faura & Cat Smits of Judith Hazeleger
Dramaturgy: Georg Weinand
Research: Justa ter Haar
Puppets: Watanabe Kazunori
Text: Sophokles (441 v.Chr.) & Magne van den Berg (2012)
Costumes: Jessica Helbach
Light: Minna Tiikkainen
Music: Gary Shepherd
Technician: Martin Kaffarnik
Production: Rutger Gernandt & Josta Obbink
PR: Eline Groeneweg (nbprojects) & Robin Theel (De Kippen)
Photographer: Anja Beutler
Graphics: Studio Matusiak
Thank you: Casper Vriens en Gerard Koolschijn.

At the Lalka Też Człowiek Festival in Warsaw (Poland) Antigone was awarded with the audience award. The regular visitors of this festival selected Antigone for this prize.

ANTIGONE – trailer from Nicole Beutler Projects on Vimeo.