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Acrobats and puppets in queer Iliad launch

A gravity-defying queer retelling of Homer’s The Iliad with puppets and a pop star soundtrack is premiering in Brisbane.

Holding Achilles looks at the hero’s relationship with Patroclus, through the first-ever collaboration by Sydney physical theatre company Legs On The Wall with Brisbane’s Dead Puppet Society.

That’s meant the creation of puppets the size of cars, and fight scenes with incredible aerial feats.

There’s also a haunting live score by ARIA winner Montaigne, composed with record producer Tony Buchen and Chris Bear from US indie rock group Grizzly Bear.

“Although there have been many adaptations of the Achilles story, in Holding Achilles, we examine what is rarely explored – the human cost of this sort of conflict,” the creative director of the Dead Puppet Society David Morton said.

His adaptation flips the notion of heroism on its head, he said.

“In this intimate account of the Trojan war, a bloody war story famed for its violence, the hero is a pacifist queer man.”

The Iliad, attributed to Homer and believed to be written in about the 8th century BC, is set during the decade-long siege of the city of Troy, and tells the story of a quarrel between warrior Achilles and King Agamemnon.

Previews for Holding Achilles are on at QPAC’s Playhouse from Monday 29, and the show runs until September 10.

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