The Dreamless


Polyneikes has lost his live on the battlefield. According to the new law he cannot be buried. His sisters Antigone and Ismene represent two very different points of view on this subject. Ismene follows the law and chooses life, Antigone acts according to her ideals, ignores the advice of her family and has to die as a result. How do we interprete theis views 2500 years later?

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. Polynices has been slain in combat. The law dictates that he may not be buried, on pain of death. His sisters Antigone and Ismene take very different standpoints 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.


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

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

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. 



Marcelle Schots
“Poppen maken tragiek invoelbaar […] de perfectie waarmee Quade en Beutler te werk gaan wordt zichtbaar in het ingenieuze poppenspel en de uitvoering van de spelers, die de kunst van de Bunraku feilloos laten samensmelten met hun eigen spel.”****

De Volkskrant

Mirjam van der Linden
“Adembenemend hoe levensecht de poppen zijn in hun bewegingen.”***

NRC Handelsblad

Herien Wensink
“Prachtig poppenspel […] wie beweegt nu wie in dat gevecht? Bijna geloof je dat daar een levensecht wezentje zich weert tegen het mensengeweld.”

De Standaard (BE)

“Dit is poppenspel zoals we het zelden eerder zagen.”

Der Tagesspiegel (DE)

Klik hier om de op 28 mei 2013 verschenen recensie te lezen.