We are a group of emerging theatre makers who set out to:
a) create new versions of classical texts that are queer, modern, urgent & accessible.
b) create new pieces of work inspired by the complexity and poeticism of classical forms.
c) create work that is visually striking, as we seek to queer and innovate the form by imploding and blending naturalism with image-making and live-art.
Theatre - especially in the early modern and Ancient Greek canon - used to be a civic event, where a community would encounter stories they knew and characters they thought of as family. At Helikon Theatre Company, we want to develop new work in this style. We expect to push, test and deconstruct various theatrical forms. Can Shakespeare’s text be updated? What does a truly modernised adaptation look and sound like? Through this we can start creating new plays of our own - ones that draw on current events and modern myths as our source: What happens if we swap Aeschylus’ sources with a modern equivalent? Is today’s version of The Oresteia an adaptation of Friends where Rachel kills Ross, and Ben in return kills Rachel? We want to pose these questions. We hope this will lead to a complex, new, accessible and urgent mode of theatre: combining the metaphorical, the spiritual and the reach towards the impossible, with the human and the now.
Theatre must also reflect the society in which we live. Old classics are steeped in patriarchal influence and power. This influence needs to be rewritten and its form broken open. We will create theatre that draws on and listens to overlooked narratives and the structures they inhabit. We seek to queer the form and break open the rigidity of classical texts, particularly by making work that implodes & blends naturalism with image-making & live-art.
Myles is a theatre director particularly interested in re-workings of classical texts and pieces of new writing that implode naturalism with a broader metaphorical resonance, creating theatre that feels within us and of us but also uniquely articulates what is indescribably beyond and above us. He has directed for venues such as the Bunker, Theatre503 and Southwark Playhouse and has trained with directors such as Katie Mitchell, Lyndsey Turner and Sacha Wares through the Young Vic & RTYDS.
Previous work as director includes: A Midsummer Night's Dream (De Vere Latimer Estate); Black Men Smile Too (Southwark Playhouse), Pro-Choice (Theatre503), Adventures, Plays Rough (Old Red Lion Theatre); WoLab's Actor/Writer Showcase (Bunker Theatre/Lion and Unicorn Theatre); Medea Speaks, Crave, Hamlet (Edinburgh Festival Fringe); A Winter's Tale (The Hat @ The Warren, Brighton Fringe/OSO Arts Centre, Barnes), and Helikon's previous student productions.
Previous work as assistant director includes: Every Thing, Disused Poundworld, in assoc with Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield (dir. Will Maynard); Not Quite Jerusalem, Finborough Theatre (dir. Peter Kavanagh), Masks and Faces, Finborough Theatre, Online (dir. Matthew Iliffe); Trainers...(A Theatrical Essay), Gate Theatre (dir. Hester Chillingworth); The Wind of Heaven, Finborough Theatre (dir. Will Maynard).
Training includes: Part of RTYDS' New Directions #3 cohort with training from Nancy Mecklar, Jude Christian, Alan Lane, John R. Wilkinson, Tinuke Craig; 6 week training with Katie Mitchell (Young Vic); 12 week training with Sacha Wares (Young Vic), One-week intensive workshop with Mike Alfreds (Schott Acting Studio), Three-day workshop with Lyndsey Turner (Living Pictures); Three-day workshop with Polly Teale; Two-day director/designer residency at the Traverse Theatre (JMK Trust/The Envelope Room); Weekly Zooms over the pandemic led by Robert Icke and Lyndsey Turner; various workshops with the Young Vic Genesis Directors' Network.
Gaia is a writer and outreach practitioner who has been involved with all sorts of theatre but finds herself constantly drawn back to Shakespearean and Greek plays. Her first experiments with theatre were aged 8 when she tried to convince her entire primary school class to stage A Midsummer Night's’ Dream. She failed. She has thankfully found some more willing collaborators since then.
She believes that the most powerful theatre rests on the simple idea of the fallibility of being human: all compelling stories, at their hearts, come from the universal theme of human error and suffering, and our continued fascination with tragedy arises from the knowledge that we too have this capability for this on a grand scale. She particularly enjoys narratives that have travelled down the stream of history, resurfacing for air in the likes of Ovid, Shakespeare, Keats and Elliott, and loves to find unusual parallels in unlikely places.