imitating the dog, one of the UK’s most original and innovative performance theatre companies are set to bring their unique theatrical vision to the stage this Spring when they premiere a bold retelling of Joseph Conrad’s extraordinarily influential and timely novel – Heart of Darkness. The production will open at CAST, Doncaster from 5 Mar and will then tour till the 11 May 2019.
Following on from their popular and critically acclaimed adaptation in 2014 of Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, imitating the dog will 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 Congolese 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 are being held up as a golden era and when our relationship with Europe is being severely tested.
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).
The production’s ensemble will feature 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).
The production will tour to Cast, Doncaster (5-6 Mar); Tron Theatre, Glasgow (7-9 Mar), The Dukes Lancaster (19-23 Mar) Theatre by The Lake, Keswick (26 – 30 Mar) Northern Stage, Newcastle (2 – 3 April) Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot (4-6 April) York Theatre (9-10 April);New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich (12-13 April),Lowry, Salford Quays (16-18 April), Liverpool Playhouse (1-4 May) and Belgrade Theatre Coventry (8-11 May)
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.