Enter Achilles

Presented by Rambert & Sadler’s Wells

A work by Lloyd Newson (DV8 Physical Theatre)

Choreography: Lloyd Newson with the performers (past and present)

One pub, eight blokes, a stacked jukebox and a load of pints. It was always going to kick off.

Twenty-five years after legendary dance iconoclast Lloyd Newson (DV8) first dragged British pub culture kicking and yelling onto the stage, Rambert and Sadler’s Wells present Newson’s reworking of this landmark physical-theatre production.

As pertinent now as it was when first staged in 1995, the production lifts the lid on “the straitjacket of what’s deemed to be masculine” (The Observer, September 1995), examining the terrors and tenderness of beer-soaked testosterone.

“Violent, ugly, politically incorrect and hilarious” (The Australian) Enter Achilles toured 18 countries and was made into a TV film winning many accolades including an International Emmy and Prix Italia. It now returns to the stage with a new cast, selected by Newson, in his first-ever collaboration with another company, the world-renowned Rambert.

Enter Achilles (2020) Receives Standing Ovations

The tour for Lloyd Newson’s reworking of Enter Achilles received rapturous applause and standing ovations in Berlin and at the Adelaide Festival.

Here’s what the critics have said so far after just 15 performances:

“[Enter Achilles] was the sensation of the 1996 Adelaide Festival – and the reboot is just as urgent. Tenderness and vulnerability seep through the cracks and when they aren’t scaring the shit out of you the men are tremendously engaging. It needs exceptionally talented performers and Newson has them. They’re wonderful…” The Australian (March 2020)

“In turn confronting, hilarious, threatening, tender and sad, Enter Achilles is an unforgettable performance of a 25- year-old masterpiece, perfectly re-pitched as a reflection on masculinity, English and otherwise, in this age of Brexit and the #metoo movement.” Adelaide Independent news – InDaily (March 2020)

“A fascinating piece, clever, snappy, analytical, funny, entertaining, […] full of anger, hardness and vulnerability.” Rundfunk Berlin Brandenburg (March 2020)

"A rare, rich, devastating, triumphant work of art … dramatic coherence, human integrity, irresistible visual power, were all there in the most outstanding work I have seen all year"

Daily Telegraph, September 1995

“Lloyd Newson's powerful and spectacular new work, Enter Achilles, is about violence and vulnerability of manliness - funny, moving, disturbing.”

Sunday Times, September 1995

“Remarkably clever and disturbing … It is excellently danced, imaginatively conceived …”

Sunday Telegraph
Conceived and directed:
Lloyd Newson (DV8 Physical Theatre)
Original Set Design:
Ian MacNeil
Original Music:
Adrian Johnston
Original Lighting Design:
Jack Thompson
Creative Associate & Tour Director:
Hannes Langolf
Richard Cilli
Tom Davis Dunn
Nelson Earl
Miguel Fiol Duran
Ian Garside
Eddie Hookham
Scott Jennings
Georgios Kotsifakis
Jag Popham
John Ross
Find out more about the new cast of performers here.
Lighting realised by:
Richard Godin
Associate Sound Designer:
Amir Sherhan
Design Assistant:
Loren Elstein
Costume Design:
Kinnetia Isidore & Richard Gellar
Rehearsal Director:
Paul White

Lloyd Newson

Lloyd Newson has led DV8 Physical Theatre since its inception in 1986. His work straddles dance, text, theatre and film, focusing on social, psychological and political issues.

Born in Australia, Newson graduated from Melbourne University having studied psychology and social work. During that time he developed an interested in dance, a fascination that brought him to the UK where he gained a full scholarship to study at London Contemporary Dance School. Before forming his own company (DV8) he danced and/or choreographed with many companies including the Modern Dance Ensemble (Melbourne), Impulse Dance Theatre/New Zealand Ballet Company, One Extra Dance Theatre (Sydney) and Extemporary Dance Theatre (London).

Newson’s work, be it for stage or film, has won 55 national and international awards. He has been cited by the Critics’ Circle as being one of the hundred most influential artists working in Britain during the last hundred years. He was awarded an honorary degree from Roehampton University and in 2013 Newson received an OBE from Her Majesty the Queen for services to contemporary dance.

A Rambert & Sadler’s Wells co-production in association with Onassis STEGI, Athens.

Co-produced with Festspielhaus St. Pölten; Grec Festival de Barcelona i Teatre Nacional de Catalunya; Théâtre de la Ville – Paris / Chaillot – Théâtre national de la danse; Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg; Adelaide Festival, Melbourne International Arts Festival; Romaeuropa Festival and Torinodanza Festival / Teatro Stabile di Torino – Teatro Nazionale.

Premiere: first performed 7 June 1995, Wiener Festwochen, Vienna. Recreation Premiere at Festspielhaus, St Pölten. Premiere International Run at Onassis STEGI, Athens.

Performance includes depictions of violence, sex, sexual violence and drug use, adult themes, nudity and strong language.

Age 15+ / No latecomers / No filming or photography

Photo: Hugo Glendinning

Made by Palace