For the past term, a select cast has been meticulously rehearsing for this year’s Senior School Play: what promises to be a particularly powerful rendition of Sophocles’ 'Antigone'. Although he doesn’t yet know it, Creon (Hugo Scott), who stars alongside Jess Walker in Brian Parsons’ new production, has kindly agreed to an exclusive interview. I arm myself with a dictaphone borrowed from my long-suffering Housemaster, and duly quiz Hugo:
RW: So Hugo, could you begin by giving us a York Notes-style synopsis – for those who aren’t sure what to expect?
HS: (collects thoughts) I, the King, forbid the burial of Antigone’s brother, Polynices. And she goes out, and basically buries the body, and because it’s early in my reign, I feel that I should do something about it … so I kill her. But she’s also betrothed to my son … he then goes off and kills himself. This is not before I’ve realised that in fact I probably should have never sentenced her to death – because Tiresias [the prophet] comes to me. And then pretty much everyone else dies apart from me.
RW: Obviously it’s a very ancient play (441 BC). Should we come expecting a more traditional format, or something more modern?
HS: No, it’s quite modern. Most of the chorus are women for a start; so that’s quite edgy! But the set itself is pretty amazing…
RW: And what do you make of Brian Parsons’ direction? (Hugo is under special instructions to be diplomatic.)
HS: (with enthusiasm) I love Brian’s direction! But at times it borders on … What’s that thing Daniel Day-Lewis does… Method Acting?
RW: And what about your co-star, the new drama scholar? Apparently Jess Walker’s really impressive…
HS: Oh, she’s very good. She’s put me to shame – quite a lot. She learnt her lines much earlier than I did; and she’s been a lot better than me ever since. So I’m just trying to play catch up.
RW: You open on Wednesday 27th November. Are you nervous?
HS: (Good taste, and Hugo’s wishes, prevent me from publishing the exact response. He assures me that yes, he is very nervous.)
RW: (With self-satisfaction at his brilliant journalistic ploy) You’ve got twenty words to sell it to our readers. Why should we come?
HS: I think that we probably need to have a good cry at times, and I think that this might help people with that.
In 23 words, (benefit of the doubt given!) I think we’ve touched on the most compelling reason of all. Come and let out your inner Athenian! Get emotionally involved in one of the civilisation’s greatest tragedies! For the pragmatists amongst you, there are also free drinks every night at the Top of the Shop (19:30).
Antigone will be performed in the Ashton Theatre at 8.00pm on Wednesday 27th, Thursday 28th, Friday 29th and Saturday 30th November. Admission is free. Please reserve your tickets at www.shrewsburyschool.ticketsource.co.uk or from Dawn Dunn on 01743 280500.