Stork Theatre at the Stork Hotel
From 1999 Helen developed Stork Theatre at her city hotel with Paul Madden.
Popular performance readings of ancient Roman and Greek epics anchored every season, inspired by Dennis Pryor, Melbourne’s most-loved classics luminary. Each year Stork presented Homer’s Odyssey or Iliad, or Virgil’s Aeneid. All starred Melbourne’s leading academics, actors and artists.
Helen staged classical works by ancient playwrights, and commissioned original scripts and adaptations of great literary works of the Western canon.
These performances crowded the tiny Stork Hotel stage. As The Age wrote of productions at the hotel:
Stork’s theatrical program stimulated other philosophic occasions.
A monthly series of SOCRATIC DINNERS were hosted by Prof Stan van Hooft. At each guests battled the philosophic questions such as ‘What is Happiness?’. Partipicants were challenged directly on their moral choices. They were not allowed to leave until, in the spirit of Socrates, they discovered an agreed point on the moral dilemma.
University in the Pub
Stork also held UNIVERSITY in the PUB philosophy hours on the ethics of the Information Age, led by Dr John Lenarcic. Held in an interactive chat-show format, the surreal musings of an information systems philosopher and his guests were blended with a humorous hypothetical or two.
Stork Hotel was an historical, unpretentious, Art Deco-style pub offering hospitality, budget accommodation and meals for travellers, locals, workers and students. There was live in the front bar five nights a week, programmed by Nedwellyn Jones. Stork Hotel was a breeding ground for up-and-coming artists such as Wally De Backer (Gotye).