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Women of Troy

Euripides, adapted by Tom Wright 

Presented by Archipelago Productions and Ten Days on the Island in association with Theatre Royal, nipaluna/Hobart

March 2023

Presented by Archipelago Productions and Ten Days on the Island in association with Theatre Royal

Troy is in ruin. The men slaughtered. The women, prisoners, recoil behind wire, fearing their fate, longing for death. Memories and prophecies haunt their Queen, Hecuba: hallucinogenic visions of her mad, blind daughter Cassandra; her grieving daughter-in-law Andromache, and the one mighty woman behind the whole bloody catastrophe, Helen.

Euripides’ timeless play is a brutal tale of Athens’ invasion and enslavement of the people of Melos. In a radical twist for Western theatre it was told not from the perspective of the conquerors, but that of the survivors. Giving voice to the vanquished was a revolution: seizing centre stage from Gods, heroes and Royalty, and claiming it for the displaced.

Archipelago’s fierce new production of Women Of Troy, based on Tom Wright’s powerful adaptation, sees acclaimed director Ben Winspear join a stellar cast – Sarah Peirse, Jane Johnson, Marta Dusseldorp, Angela Mahlatjie and Guy Hooper.

Celebrated composer Katie Noonan will present an original score with libretto by Kurdish-Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani performed by a community chorus of women and children.

With displaced people now at record numbers globally, Women Of Troy interrogates what we have learned and lost and how, in war, it is the women and children who suffer the most.

It is the 2500-year-old play that we need right now.

“The Trojan Horse, filled with hidden soldiers, left at the gates after a staged retreat is one of the most famous victories in the history of war. But wherever there is victory, there is also defeat.  Where there is conquest there is subjugation. Euripides found in this story the inspiration to confront the failures of his own time.  By giving voice to the vanquished, by speaking for the foe, he upended our understanding of heroism, and put the war crimes of his own people on the public stage.  

War and human tragedy are inseparable, and today more than one hundred million people around the world face displacement from conflict.  For them the women of Troy continue to speak, beyond time, to the disaster of war.

For this production, Archipelago has commissioned a new song cycle from Katie Noonan and Behrouz Boochani, bringing contemporary voices into an ancient text, and infusing love, hope and courage into a world of violent consequences.  A chorus of women and children is assembling to bring the songs to life under chorus director Amanda Hodder.  The cast, directed by Ben Winspear,  gathers together some of Tasmania’s best loved performers, Jane Johnson, Marta Dusseldorp and Guy Hooper with visiting artists Sarah Pierce and Angela Mahlatjie.  

This production will give full flight to the power of the human voice, to compel, implore, condemn, and inspire.”

– Ben Winspear November 2022

Women of Troy is suitable for ages 15+

Cast

Hecuba – Wife of Trojan King Priam –  Sarah Pierce

Cassandra – Daughter of Priam – Jane Johnson

Andromache – Wife of Brutus – Marta Dusseldorp

Helen – Wife of Menelaus – Angela Mahlatjie

Menelaus – Guy Hooper

Chorus

Production

By Euripides

Adaptation: Tom Wright and Barrie Kosky

Director: Ben Winspear

Design: LIMINAL Spaces

Choral Score: Katie Noonan

Libretto: Behrouz Boochani

Choral Master: Amanda Hodder

Duration

90 minutes, no interval (subject to change)

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