Review: Nick Payne's Incognito at the Bush Theatre
Review: Australian play double bill of Holiday and The Eisteddfod at the Bussey Building

The curious case of the Antigone running time

PhotAntigoneoThe running time for Antigone at the Barbican is an hour and 4o minutes straight through. Not remarkable in itself except that it isn't being staged until March next year.

How do they know?

I mean running times on some theatre websites can be horrendously out even when the play is actually on. Ok I know theatre isn't like film and there is a fluidity in live performance that will mean running times can never be precise but the Antigone example is intriguing.

There may be a simple explanation, that director Ivo van Hove has staged it before elsewhere although I can't find a reference. And, on the Barbican website, it does say this version has been translated "afresh" which implies it it new.

Ivo van Hove directed the current production of A View From The Bridge at the Young Vic which is two hours straight through. Not only has the text been trimmed but apparently, during rehearsal, every gesture was examined to determine whether it was necessary. For example, when Bea is asked the time during the play she doesn't check her watch, she just gives the time.

Of course I'm curious about whether he will take a similar approach with Antigone - A View From The Bridge is certainly a powerful piece because of it. But equally I'm curious about how much of a guide the running time is. Will they be shaving off bits of the play and performance if it comes in at one hour and fifty during rehearsal? And what about if it ends up shorter?

These are probably stupid questions to those familiar with the whole theatre production process so please do enlighten me. I can add it to my very slowly growing 'behind the scenes' knowledge. Otherwise I'll just have to wait and time it in March.