Commissioned to mark the centenary of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 2004, The Burial at Thebes is Seamus Heaney’s second play, a verse translation of Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone – whose eponymous heroine is one of the most famous and compelling figures in Western drama.
Faithful to the specificity of the play’s time and place, The Burial at Thebes examines the perennial conflict between family and state in a time of crisis, pitching the morality of private allegiance against that of public service. As well as its original production at The Abbey, the play has enjoyed successful runs at The Peacock in Dublin, the Nottingham Playhouse and the Irish Repertory Theatre in New York.