Never Too Late: <i>Antigone</i> in a German Second World War Cemetery on the Italian Apennines

Martina Treu

in Antigone on the Contemporary World Stage

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199586196
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191728754 | DOI:

Series: Classical Presences

Never Too Late: Antigone in a German Second World War Cemetery on the Italian Apennines

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In 2006 two Italian directors, Gianluca Guidoti and Enrica Sangiovanni, staged Antigone at a German Military Cemetery in the Appennine Mountains between Florence and Bologna. This isolated cemetery rests on the ‘Gothic line’ built by the Nazis in 1943 to protect Northern Italy and Germany from an anticipated allied attack from the South, and it became the site of bloody trench warfare in 1944–5 in which thousands of young Germans died and were buried, most anonymously. The production took the audience through various sites in the cemetery, and involved local inhabitants, who also served as chorus members. The text included interpolations by Bertolt Brecht and the Italian poet Cesare Pavese, whose words, this chapter argues, captured the play's central theme: ‘Every War is a Civil War, every fallen man resembles those who remain alive and calls them to account’.

Keywords: Greek tragedy; Antigone; reception; Italian theatre; site-specific performance; theatre; classics; Gianluca Guidoti; Enrica Sangiovanni; Bertolt Brecht

Chapter.  7195 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical Literature

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