A post-modern, feminist retelling of the story of Helen of Troy, The Helen Project will have two performances at the LOST Theatre’s Face to Face Festival of solo theatre this July. Co-creators Megan Cohen and Amy Clare Tasker are continuing the development of the piece in London after a developmental workshop in San Francisco last spring.
Visitors to this blog may be already familiar with Amy’s work, as she directed 17Percent’s She Writes: What’s through the door? last year. Returning to her native England last summer, Amy has partnered with London director Sharon Burrell, actor/producer Angela Bull, and actors Rachel Handshaw, Pearl Mackie, Anna Martine, and Georgina Panton (also seen in What’s through the door?), to transport The Helen Project across the pond.
The Helen Project is written in fragments of text for five performers, all playing Helen of Troy. Megan Cohen explains, “We see Helen at four ages, on four important nights in her life. These four Helens are the actual historical person, Helen of Troy; they speak her untold story in our original text, they have psychological depth and sensory experiences. There is a fifth figure who is essentially the archetype, the eternal and immortal figure ‘Helen.’”
Two different versions of these fragments, the “Build Your Own Helen of Troy Play Kit,” will be performed at the LOST Theatre’s Face to Face Festival of solo theatre this July. An hour-long version on Friday July 11, will explore the possibilities of interconnected solo performances in a traditional proscenium space; on Sunday July 13, the company will experiment with one-on-one immersive performances of the same fragments.
Amy adds: “There is something fascinating about allowing the artists and/or the audience to “construct” their experience of Helen in the same way we construct the idea of the icon “Helen” – or even construct ideas about “beauty” and “woman.” So we’ve decided not to put the fragments together to make a definitive play script, but instead leave that construction work to each production to choose the pieces that resonate with their time and place, to tell their own story of Helen.”
The Helen Project has already been years in the making, and with each passing day, it seems to become more and more relevant. The piece critiques beauty standards, victim-blaming, female agency within patriarchy, and even the way we create myth.
Venue: Lost Theatre, 208 Wandsworth Rd, London SW8 2JU (nearest tube: Stockwell)
Dates & Times:
Friday, July 11 @7.30PM (proscenium performance)
Sunday, July 13 @2PM, 3PM, 4PM, 6PM & 7PM (one-on-one performances)
Box Office: 0844 847 1680 or http://www.solotheatrefestival.co.uk