Iphigenia and the Furies (On Taurian Land) & Antigone: 方 by Ho Ka Kei (Jeff Ho)
From the author of trace comes two adaptations that transport mythological stories from Ancient Greece to modern-day civilizations. Led by people of colour, these darkly comedic plays depict recognizable plights for justice.
Iphigenia and the Furies (On Taurian Land) highlights the repetition of hate and colonialism that occur in ancient myths through a mischievous lens. Since Iphigenia was rescued from the sacrificial altar, she has served as a high priestess to the goddess Artemis on Tauros, where she in turn is to sacrifice any foreigners who try to enter. When she discovers that an exiled prisoner is her brother, they together plot their escape, but are soon confronted by a force beyond their control.
Antigone: 方is set against the backdrop of the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement and Tiananmen Square Massacre protests. When citizens challenge a state’s traditional doctrine, the ruling family is divided between their own interests and those of its citizens. After brothers Neikes and Teo kill each other in the protests, their sister Antigone defies her father’s orders to retrieve Neikes’s body, causing the government—and what’s left of their family—to reach a reckoning.
Run time: 140 minutes
3 f, 5 m, doubling | 1 f, 2 m, 1 chorus
Winner, Toronto Theatre Critics' Award for Best New Canadian Play 2019
“The comic timing is flawless; some of the contemporary one-liners could feel glib in less skilled hands, but here they zing. The characters are all emotionally credible, while still bemused by the way the gods have screwed up their lives.” (Praise for Iphigenia and the Furies (on Taurian Land))
- Martha Schabas, The Globe and Mail
“His adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone both relocates this Greek story to reflect Ho’s Chinese heritage and directly challenges the narratives that its audience of 12- to 18-year-olds may be hearing in their classrooms right now, while empowering them to do something to change it.” (Praise for Antigone: 方)
- Carly Maga, Toronto Star