Helen of Troy bounces in to Hawkesdale P-12 basketball stadium

THE wooden horse of Troy and the legendary Trojan War will come to life in Hawkesdale P-12’s basketball stadium next week.

Hawkesdale P-12 students Jobe Hollard, 16 (left), as Menelaus, Elektra Scholz, 16, as Helen, and Belinda Amess, 18, as Aphrodite, get in character for the college’s play Helen Of Troy. 140901LP02  Picture: LEANNE PICKETT

Hawkesdale P-12 students Jobe Hollard, 16 (left), as Menelaus, Elektra Scholz, 16, as Helen, and Belinda Amess, 18, as Aphrodite, get in character for the college’s play Helen Of Troy. 140901LP02 Picture: LEANNE PICKETT

About 120 students from the college are staging a production of Helen Of Troy in the school’s stadium, which will be transformed into a temporary theatre for three shows.

The play continues a connection between the school and Melbourne-based actor Carolyn Bock (Never Tear Us Apart, Neighbours) and writer Rosemary Johns, who have been helping the college stage performances every couple of years.

Helen Of Troy has been written by Johns and tailored specifically for Hawkesdale P-12.

“Basically I’ve taken the stories of Homer and adapted them to create a play for the school,” Johns said.

“When we came to the school we asked who wanted to be in the play, and then once we knew who the cast was going to be, we adapted the play to fit 29 speaking parts.”

Johns said it was a story of “love, war and loss”, exploring the fickleness of romance while also focusing on the goddesses who sowed the discord that led to the Trojan War. 

Johns and Bock said they were impressed with the level of talent on display.

“For kids who don’t have a permanent performing arts program, they’re doing amazingly. They adapt really well,” Bock said.

Johns and Bock said they had planned to bring professional fight choreographers to plot out battle scenes between the Greek and Trojan armies, but found they were not needed.

“(The students) came up with such wonderful battle formations, so we just handed it over to them,” Johns said, attributing the student’s knowledge of movies, gaming and the popularity of Game Of Thrones.

A large crew is also involved in helping produce impressive visuals to accompany the drama, woodwork and technology students have helped create special effects including a Trojan horse, while a four-piece band has been formed to provide a live score. 

Helen Of Troy is the third production Bock and Johns have worked on with Hawkesdale P-12, following a short play called The Golden Fleece and Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale. 

Helen Of Troy will be performed on September 10 at 2pm, and September 11 and 12 at 7.30pm. Tickets available from the school.

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