News Article

19th Mar 2019

Bold retelling of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness at Theatre by the Lake

imitating the dog, one of the UK's most original and innovative performance theatre companies, are set to bring their unique style of theatre to the Main Stage at Theatre by the Lake, when they premiere a bold retelling of Joseph Conrad's extraordinarily influential and timely novel, Heart of Darkness, from 26 to 30 March.

Following on from their popular and critically acclaimed adaptation in 2014 of Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, the company will stage a timely exploration of Conrad's classic novel using live performance and digital technology.

Written more than 100 years ago, amid the optimism at the turn of a new century, Heart of Darkness explored the journey of Conrad's narrator Charles Marlow, travelling up the Congo river into the Congo Free State in the heart of Africa. It's a tale of lies and brutal greed and of the dark heart which beats within us all.

The novel has inspired several film adaptations, most famously Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now, but rarely has it been attempted for the stage. Now retold as a journey of a black woman through war-torn Europe, the play explores a 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.

Writer and director Andrew Quick said: "We tell a great story; in these times, a time of fake news and Brexit, Heart of Darkness will resonate with audiences. It is a challenging novel but I think we have been honest in our dealings with it and re-imagined it in a really exciting way."

imitating the dog have been making ground-breaking work for theatres and other spaces for 20 years. Their work, which fuses live performance with digital technology, has been seen across the world and by hundreds of thousands of people. As a company, they are most interested in telling stories which are important to audiences today, and creating beautiful, memorable images. The Guardian describes them as 'theatre-makers of rare ambition and invention...without peer'.

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.

Tickets for Heart of Darkness are priced from £10 to £26 and are available from the Box Office on 017687 74411 or online at


For further information or images, contact Meg Eyre on or 017687 81107.

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