Heart of Darkness @ York Theatre Royal
York Theatre Royal, 9 and 10 April
Press performance 9 April, 7.30pm
Imitating the dog, one of the UK’s most original and innovative performance theatre companies, bring their unique theatrical vision to York Theatre Royal when they premiere a bold retelling of Joseph Conrad’s extraordinarily influential and timely novel Heartof Darkness on 9 and 10 April.
Following on from their popular and critically acclaimed adaptation in 2014 of Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, imitating the dog stage an exploration of Conrad’s classic novel filled with visually rich, multi-layered work that fuses live performance and digital technology.
Written more than 100 years ago amid the optimism at the turn of a new century, Heart of Darkness, which explored the journey of Conrad’s narrator Charles Marlow travelling up the Congo river into the Congo Free State in the heart of Africa, is a tale of lies and brutal greed and of the dark heart which beats within us all. Now retold as a journey of a black woman through war-torn Europe, the play explores a forsaken landscape lost to the destructive lust for power and emerges as a tale absolutely for our time.
Negotiating race, gender and the themes of exploitation, violence and nationalism, imitating the dog’s Heart of Darkness is a searing parable for our times, created at a moment when versions of Britain’s colonial past seems to be being held up as a golden era and when our relationship to Europe is being severely tested.
The production’s ensemble features Laura Atherton (A Farewell To Arms, imitating the dog); Morgan Bailey (In The Dark, BBC); Keicha Greenidge (In The Club, Bafta winning Three Girls and From Darkness, all BBC); Morven Macbeth (A Farewell to Arms,imitating the dog; Bring The Happy, Invisible Flock and Opening Skinner’s Box, improbable) and Matt Prendergast (The Train, imitating the dog).
Heart of Darkness is retold and directed by imitating the dog founder members Pete Brooks and Andrew Quick (A Farewell to Arms and Kellerman, imitating the dog and The Carrier Frequency, Impact Theatre Co-operative). The production’s projection and video are designed by fellow original founder member Simon Wainwright (The Kid Stays in the Picture, Royal Court).
imitating the dog have been making ground-breaking work for theatres and other spaces for 20 years. The work, which fuses live performance with digital technology, has been seen across the world, and the company have made work for outdoor festivals and events, seen by hundreds of thousands of people.
As a company, they are most interested in telling stories and creating beautiful, memorable images for audiences. The company strive to tell stories which are important, and which contain important ideas. Sometimes this is an adaptation of a classic novel or a film, and at other times a new story, devised by the company.
Recent acclaimed productions have included The Zero Hour, Six Degrees elow the Horizon, Hotel Methuselah and A Farewell to Arms. The company created the sited work Arrivals and Departures for the launch of Hull City of Culture 2017. Earlier this year the company became an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.
Heart of Darkness is co-produced with Marche Teatro (Italy) and Cast, Doncaster. It is supported by Arts Council England, Lancaster Arts at Lancaster University and Theatre by the Lake.
For more information visit www.imitatinthedog.co.uk Twitter: @imitatingthedog