Holding Achilles

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The other half of the legend.

Set against the epic violence of the Trojan War, Holding Achilles by David Morton is a refreshing take on one of the ancient world’s best-known heroes, and his relationship with Patroclus, his not so well-known lover. As a young exile taken in by Achilles’ father, Patroclus faces hostility from the young hero until they are thrust together to train under the centaur Chiron, and the two form an unlikely friendship. As Achilles doggedly seeks to fulfil his mother’s prophecy to become a legend, their relationship becomes something more. But war with Troy is brewing, and the two young men find themselves caught between their hopes for a future together and the brutal realities of the world that faces them.

This breathtaking new production from visual theatre masterminds Dead Puppet Society and physical theatre virtuosos Legs On The Wall reclaims the queer aspects of The Iliad. Set to a haunting new score composed by Tony Buchen and Chris Bear with Montaigne, and a live performance by Montaigne, this innovative new work blends heightened physicality and visual storytelling with an ensemble cast to weave a legend of mythic proportions. A tale of trials, grief and love - Holding Achilles is an epic tale about a fearless bond forged in the toughest of times.

By David Morton.

Presented by Dead Puppet Society, Legs On The Wall, Brisbane Festival, Sydney Festival, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Glass Half Full Productions.

Brisbane: 29 August - 10 September 2022
Sydney: 19 - 22 January 2023

Download Education Notes here.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government's Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc., commissioned by Brisbane Festival, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Sydney Festival and Glass Half Full Productions together with Bristol Old Vic and Northampton Royal and Derngate in the UK.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. It is also supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

You can rent Holding Achilles and our other productions Ishmael and The Wider Earth via QPAC’s Digital Stage platform, as well as access our Digital Workshop offerings and explore behind the scenes content to discover more about how our productions are made.

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Creative Team

Director and Co-Creator David Morton

Movement Director and Co-Creator Joshua Thomson

Creative Producer Nicholas Paine

Music by Tony Buchen and Chris Bear with Montaigne

Music performed live by Montaigne

Set Co-Designers Anna Cordingley and David Morton

Costume Designer Anna Cordingley

Lighting Design Ben Hughes

Sound Designer Tony Brumpton

Rigging Designer David Jackson

Puppet Design Dead Puppet Society

Dramaturg Louise Gough

Associate Director Matt Seery

Production Team

Technical Director Scott Barton

Production Stage Manager Kat O'Halloran

Deputy Stage Manager Nicole Neil

Head Rigger Byron Cleasby

Head of Lighting Chris Conway

Sound Engineer Benn Sargood

Head of Fabrication Savannah Mojidi

Costume Makers Fiona Warmbath and Gayle MacGregor

Costume Assistant Azure Shofield

Fabricators Maggie Alexion, Carol Jelley, Fanaia Novoa, Liz Prior, Giancarlo Salamanque

Associate Producers James Beach and Lauren Eisinger

Stephen Madsen - Achilles

Karl Richmond - Patroclus

Ellen Bailey - Ajax / Hector / Puppeteer (Baby Bear)

John Batchelor - Odysseus

Lauren Jackson - Agamemnon / Lead Puppeteer (Bear)

Christopher Tomkinson - Meneleus / Peleus

Nic Prior - Paris / Chiron

Christy Tran - Briseis

Caroline Dunphy - Priam / Chrsyses

Johnas Liu - Ensemble / Counterweight

Hear from some of the cast of Holding Achilles.

To discover more about the making of Holding Achilles and view behind the scenes galleries and videos of rehearsals and showing how the puppets and props were made, visit our blog.


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