When Sophocles wrote Antigone around 2,500 years ago, it is unlikely that he would have foreseen his male lead being played by an actor who is probably most famous as the first of a new generation of time traveling doctors.
But Christopher Eccleston's casting as Creon, the ruler of Thebes who stirs rebellion with his diktat that a dead warrior, Polyneices, should be left to rot on the battlefield where he fell, beautifully sums up the strength and continued appeal of Sophocles' mythical tale.
With a CV boasting countless highly-acclaimed roles, not least in Our Friends in the North, Elizabeth, The Shadow Line and, of course, as Doctor Who, Eccleston's casting highlights the modern relevance of Sophocles' ancient work. He is joined by Jodie Whittaker who plays the eponymous Antigone, the sister of the late Polyneices, whose death had come in a battle for power with their other brother Eteocles.
Whittaker is another familiar face whose TV credits include Black Mirror, Cranford and Marchlands, and, with Eccleston, she completes a headline-grabbing leading cast that is sure to pull the punters in by the bucketful when Antigone opens in late May.
Sophocles' Antigone, starring Christopher Eccleston and Jodie Whittaker, previews at the Olivier Theatre on 23rd and 24th May, officially opening on Friday 25th May, running until Wednesday 20th June 2012 and including some matinée performances.
We have tickets available now, priced £22 to £32.