Exclusive Clip: Hear Hayley Atwell Slay as Antigone for Audible’s The Oedipus Plays

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Before she was Agent Peggy Carter, Hayley Atwell was also an accomplished stage actress with years of rigorous classical training. Now, she’s bringing that experience to bear in the role of Antigone in Audible’s new original drama The Oedipus Plays.

The 5+ hour audibook includes Sophocles‘ Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone, and stars Atwell, Jamie Glover, Michael Maloney, Samantha Bond, Julian Glover, and David Horovitch. In our exclusive clip below, you can hear Atwell absolutely killing it as Antigone, defending her decision to violate royal edict—punishable by death—in order to bury her brother Polyneices.

As an Agent Carter fan, it’s amazing to hear Atwell in another role that, although stylistically and tonally very different from her part in the MCU, requires similar strength of conviction and lack of fucks. I think Peggy and Antigone would get along great.

Atwell’s role in The Oedipus Plays is also a departure from the extremely physical work required of her for Agent Carter. The actress enjoyed the freedom of working in a purely auditory form, and found she was able to focus intensely on serving the story: “I like working in the medium, just with my voice, because I don’t have to worry about my facial expressions or gestures – I can do whatever my body needs to do to free up my voice. So it feels like a very specific medium and that to me is great. Working in a sound studio is an environment that I welcome.”

Playing Antigone also reminded Atwell why she originally fell in love with the stage: “My background is classical theatre and that for me is where I got a sense of how ‘family’ can exist in the theatre. When you are part of an acting community as we have been during these days we have been recording the Theban plays, you also realise you are part of a tradition that has been passed down and hopefully we will continue to pass it down to the next generation. It is a way also of keeping these texts alive. There is a magic when I walk into the sound studio and we are all here in our own clothes eating sandwiches and drinking coffee, knowing that we are just here to serve the text. That’s it. We are servants of the text. In this moment what we have is the opportunity to tell a wonderful story together.”

To hear more of Atwell as Antigone, you can purchase The Oedipus Plays here.


(all images via Audible)

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