I can hear my sister laugh at the thought of truth.
Colm Tóibín’s prodigious oeuvre has made him one of the most fêted of contemporary writers. His engrossing version of Sophocles’ Antigone (c.442 bc) approaches its subject from the sister’s perspective. It includes those staples of Greek drama — pity and terror — and adds to current debates about gender and power, about abusive power and about silence and speech. ‘My interest in writing Pale Sister was to explore areas in public life and private conscience that remain indistinct. When I started the play, when Lisa Dwan and I began to work out its moral and political contours, I did not know what Ismene would do. I merely knew she would speak.’ This is her voice, the voice of a witness.