February 1922: Sophocles’s “Antigone”

An article on page six of The Glasgow Herald, on Friday the 17th of February, 1922, reads:






In view of the forthcoming production of the ‘Antigone’ of Sophocles in Hengler’s Circus in aid

of the Students’ Welfare Scheme, a preparatory lecture on the play was given by Professor G. A.

Davies in the Lecture Hall of the Botany Buildings, Glasgow University, last night. The interest

created was reflected in the large audience, many of whom could only find standing room, while

many more were unable to gain admission. The tragedy will be presented from February 27 to

March 4, and for the purposes of the production the arena and stage of the circus will be transformed

so as to represent as closely as possible a Greek theatre of the period when the play was first produced.

The structural resemblances already existing in the circus were remarked upon by Professor Davies in

the course of his lecture. The cast will be composed of students of the University and the School of Art

under the direction of Mr Parry Gunn, and special music for the chorus has been composed by Mr.

Percy Gordon.


In surveying the play last night Professor Davies outlined the sequence of events of which the tragedy

was the culmination. Referring to the ‘Antigone,’ he pointed out that the ethical substructure was such

that it made a greater appeal to modern audiences than most Greek plays did. Antigone’s action was

prompted not merely by an outworn creed, but by a simple piety and natural affection that could be

appreciated by any generation. A feature which suited our own day was the rapidity with which the action

was brought to a close after the reversal of fortune. The unity of the play had been universally extolled.

Much more important was the vital unity exhibited in structure and characterisation, and in this respect the

‘Antigone’ was a masterpiece. The moral unity was centred in the conflict between divine and human law. It

had been disputed whether in this conflict the right lay with Antigone or Creon, but Hegel maintained that they

were both partially right and partially wrong. The lecturer, however, thought Creon wrong and Antigone right

from beginning to end, and that that was the poet’s view. Professor Davies afterwards explained the circumstances

under which the play was written and produced, the Greek theatre, and the aim of the producer in the present

production of the ‘Antigone.’ The lecture was illustrated with a number of interesting lantern slides.”



George Fairfull-Smith, January 2024.