A world premiere production as part of Brisbane Festival

Set against the epic violence of the Trojan War, Holding Achilles by David Morton is a refreshing take on one of the ancient world’s best-known heroes, and his relationship with Patroclus, his not so well-known lover.

This breathtaking new production from visual theatre masterminds Dead Puppet Society and physical theatre virtuosos Legs On The Wall reclaims the queer aspects of The Iliad. Set to a haunting new score performed live by Montaigne, composed with Tony Buchen and Chris Bear, this innovative new work blends heightened physicality and visual storytelling with an ensemble cast to weave a legend of mythic proportions. A tale of trials, grief and love – Holding Achilles is an epic tale about a fearless bond forged in the toughest of times.

As a young exile taken in by Achilles’ father, Patroclus faces hostility from the young hero until they are thrust together to train under the centaur Chiron, and the two form an unlikely friendship. As Achilles doggedly seeks to fulfil his mother’s prophecy to become a legend, their relationship becomes something more. But war with Troy is brewing, and the two young men find themselves caught between their hopes for a future together and the brutal realities of the world that faces them.

“Dead Puppet Society ... A new kind of theatrical storytelling.Limelight
Legs On The Wall ... physical performance ... with an Aussie cultural identity and a fearless bravado. City Hub

Director and Co-Creator David Morton
Movement Director and Co-Creator Joshua Thomson

Music by Tony Buchen and Chris Bear with Montaigne
Music performed live by Montaigne

Cast Stephen Madsen, Karl Richmond, Ellen Bailey, John Batchelor, Lauren Jackson, Thomas Larkin, Nic Prior, Christy Tran, Jennifer Vuletic

Creative Producer Nicholas Paine
Co-Designers (set) Anna Cordingley and David Morton
Designer (costume) Anna Cordingley
Lighting Design Ben Hughes
Sound Design Tony Brumpton
Rigging Design David Jackson
Puppet Design Dead Puppet Society
Dramaturg Louise Gough
Associate Director Matt Seery
Associate Producers James Beach and Lauren Eisinger
Technical Director Scott Barton
Head Rigger Byron Cleasby
Head of Fabrication Savannah Mojidi
Counterweight Johnas Liu 
Production Stage Manager Lindsey Knight
Deputy Stage Manager Nicole Neil  

Hero image: Photography Joel Devereux, artwork by Jacob Brewer 


    Adult themes (multiple references to acts of attempted suicide), theatrical effects including haze, smoke, blood, loud music and strobe lighting. Moments of dead black out.


    Recommended for ages 12 and over.

  • Connecting safely at QPAC

    QPAC is operating at 100% capacity. Face masks are a requirement of entry at QPAC and must be worn in foyers and theatres (including during performances). Please bring your own mask with you to the theatre. Find out more

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Presented by QPAC and Brisbane Festival

Dead Puppet Society and Legs On The Wall's Holding Achilles by David Morton

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc., commissioned by Brisbane Festival, Sydney Festival, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Glass Half Full Productions together with Bristol Old Vic and Northampton Royal and Derngate in the UK.

Pricing Guide


^Concession: Pensioners, Senior Card Holders and Full Time Students

A transaction fee of $7.20 applies per transaction. Selected ticket delivery methods may incur an additional charge. The minimum price listed may be available for selected performances only. Please see the event calendar when booking for the available date(s) and time(s) of this performance.



Christy Tran

Ellen Bailey

Jen Vuletic

John Batchelor

Karl Richmond

Lauren Jackson


Nic Prior

Stephen Madsen

Thomas Larkin