Notes On... Heart of Darkness


You might expect a play based on a novel written 119 years ago to be a little, shall we say… old-fashioned. Well, let The Rep’s upcoming showing of Heart of Darkness, originally written by Joseph Conrad, change your mind.

Staging is bold for the retelling of the classic work. The performance combines cinema, soundscape and graphic novel; digital-theatre makers imitating the dog are responsible for the radical re-imagining. The play is filmed during the action and simultaneously projected above the stage, so the audience can choose how they watch the story unfold.

Despite the reach and influence of the book over 100 years ago, the story has since drawn criticism for its representation of colonialism and Africa. That’s the kind of territory most people would run a mile from, rather than thinking "this seems like the perfect story to be translated to stage". But this adaptation radically re-interprets the plot, introduces different geography and changes the male narrator in the novel,  to a black woman - regaining a voice that is woefully missing in the text.

The production runs Nov 20 – 24. Tickets are available here.