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Daisy Noyes

The myth of the hero towers over western history, but what festers within that image of man?

The twelve labours of Hercules are legendary, and reveal a man trying to prove himself more than mortal. His impossible projects tear the natural world apart and plunder the animal kingdom for all it’s worth, all the while erecting an ideal of masculinity that continues to this day. Meanwhile, the lesser-known story of his violent murder of his wife and children is all but forgotten.

Hercules is a powerful and challenging new work from the acclaimed Daniel Schlusser Ensemble that drops a mineshaft deep into the bedrock of the Greek myths, hauling into the sun a foundational story of violence, infanticide, divinity and madness.

Performed by a trio of fearless female performers, drawing on Euripides, pop culture and contemporary experience, this unflinching descent into the underworld of hero-worship is an urgent attempt to topple a mythic figure, by women who defy the demands of tragedy.

“… this will be one of the lasting achievements of this decade in theatre.” ★★★★★ – Artshub

Hercules is a haunting contemporary reckoning with ancient myth, and possesses such arresting visual strength and dramatic intestensity that it almost demands a second viewing.” ★★★1/2 – Cameron Woodhead, The Age

“This is extraordinary theatre that leaves you raw. Its impact is felt more than it’s understood, but its story is clear because feeling emotions is how we understand our lives. We feel more than we think. The arrival of a giant topiary dinosaur might seem ridiculous, but its absurdity feels obvious and natural.” – Anne-Marie Peard, Australian Arts Review

“The real haunting enacted during these 90 minutes exists in its melange of the banal, the mythic and horror. It is a visual pastiche of familiar images: women taking refuge in war zones, unidentifiable beings emerging from a house’s structure, a shooting, screens, violent messages. The stage’s metamorphosis from childhood oasis into a space where monsters roam inspires awe – not merely for its spectacle and artistry but for the wondrous and sorrowful encounter with the mythic.” – Tali Lavi, The Saturday Paper

Presented by Arts House and Daniel Schlusser Ensemble

Produced by Bureau of Works

Co-created by Mary-Helen Sassman, Daniel Schlusser and Katherine Tonkin after Euripides

Artistic Team

Director: Daniel Schlusser

Performers: Mary-Helen Sassman, Katherine Tonkin and Edwina Wren

Set and Costume Design: Romanie Harper and Bethany J Fellows

Composer, Sound and AV Designer: James Paul

Lighting Designer: Amelia Lever-Davidson

Stage Manager: Theresa O’Connor

Production Manager: Cassandra Fumi

Producer: Erin Milne

Associate Producer: Xavier O’Shannessy

Producer: Erin Milne

Associate Producer: Xavier O’Shannessy

Production Manager: Bec Etchell

Stage Manager: Liberty Gilbert

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts
funding and advisory body; the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria; the Besen Family
Foundation, and Creative Partnerships Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund.

Upcoming Dates

  • World Premiere
    Arts House
    24–28 May 2022

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