The Trojan War (Chapel Off Chapel) – theatre review

Physical and improvisation comedy at its absolute, chaotic best. That is what you get when you venture in to Chapel Off Chapel to see the hilarious, contemporary adaption of The Trojan War. All the key characters are in play, the likes of Agamemnon, Achilles, Hector and Paris and, of course, Helen of Troy. The legendary conflict between the early Greeks and the people of Troy is writ large.


Frequent play fighting with faux swords and bows and arrows are an integral component of A Slightly Isolated Dog’s ribald offering. After all, the bloody battle raged for 10 years, ending when the Greeks pretended to withdraw. As the story goes, they left behind a large wooden horse, with a raiding party concealed inside. Yes, of course, that is part of the hijinks, which also involves deftly conceived sound effects and popular songs, including pop and hip hop numbers.

And then there is the surfeit of audience interaction, which gives the show so much more bite. There is no shortage of enthusiastic volunteers playing Greek gods and the characters’ love interests. More are called upon to take to the stage, helping to sail the high seas and slice and dice opponents. It all goes down a treat.

The props used – buckets and brooms (without the handle), combined with cardboard boxes and tape – are hard to forget. That might not sound like much, but it is spot on in the context of the mayhem that is integral to this production.

I loved the talent involved. There isn’t a weak link among the five combatants and a good time is had by all – performers and theatregoers alike. The show is wild and witty, colourful and creative.

The Trojan War is on the 2024 VCE playlist. I defy any student not to be totally engaged by the affectations and imaginings of this crew. In short, it brings history alive. Nor is this play with music unappealing to parents and grandparents. Good comedy can cut through and this is just that. The Trojan War is highly entertaining and engaging – a glorious hoot, which effortlessly puts smiles on faces. The ridiculous becomes the sublime.

I should quickly add, that begins even before the show starts, as the characters playfully engage with the audience. Sixty-five minutes without interval, it is playing at Chapel Off Chapel until 28th April, 2024.

Alex First

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