Creon, P. I.
an adaptation of Oedipus Rex
by Cole Remmen
Creon, P. I. is an adaptation of Sophocles's Oedipus Rex, reimagined in the genre of film noir. This play recontextualizes the Greek classic for the modern era by highlighting parallels between the ancient crime story and the familiar tropes of political thriller and mystery that permeate the noir style, rekindling the drama of Sophocles's classic in a manner that is engaging to a modern audience.
In this adapted version, Oedipus is the mayor of the large, beleaguered metropolis of Thebes. Creon, his brother-in-law, is a hard-boiled, honest-to-a-fault, Humphrey Bogart-type private eye, who tirelessly seeks the truth no matter how difficult it may be, but does so more out of self-interest than fame-seeking; his interest is in seeing wrongdoers brought to justice and getting paid, and not necessarily in that order. Ex-wife of the previous mayor and no longer a young socialite, Jocasta long ago traded in her scandalous and riotous past to serve as a “proper” political wife, but is no less a femme fatale and certainly still has a few tricks up her sleeve. The Oracle at Delphi also makes an appearance in the form of a newspaper editor with a keen nose for the latest rumors and a stash of insider knowledge thanks to her secret prophetic sources; rather than predict the future herself, she prefers to shape it with her headlines. The blind prophet Tiresias is a nightclub owner, with a finger on the pulse of the public consciousness and a good amount of clientele who do not always operate above board. Like the Oracle, he possesses the ability to see the future but is not above stretching the truth for his personal gain.
Years after Oedipus cracked the case of The Sphinx serial killings, Thebes is struck by a new plague of organized crime and the Oedipus administration, failing to control it, is rapidly losing the faith of the people, who have grown restless in the wake of the lengthy and unending investigation into the former mayor’s death. Word from the city’s underbelly begins to spread that this new mob family possesses information on the unsolved death of the former mayor. The Oracle, a prominent newspaper, places the onus of the new crime wave on Oedipus and his failure to lead the city or even solve the mystery of Laius’s death, and speculates that Oedipus’s failure may be partly due to a not-so-spotless past being exploited by this new gang. In response, Oedipus vows to find Laius’s killers and thus restore confidence in the local government.
As the government flounders to remain in control, Jocasta turns to the person she least suspected she would seek: her brother, Creon. Fearing that her husband is being blackmailed into not finding and prosecuting the new mafia, Jocasta comes asking for a favor: for Creon to help Oedipus discreetly get to the bottom of these rumors. Creon sets out at once to do just that, with the help of colorful cast of film noir-inspired characters, and along the way begins to uncover the shocking truth of Oedipus's past.
What follows is the surprising story of Creon's thrilling investigation, with all the intrigue of the classic with a few new twists that is sure to entertain fans of classic theater and film noir alike - a story filled with myth... mystery... and MURDER!