Project Colony*** (Trinity Buoy Wharf, 20 April 2013)

Posted: April 21, 2013 in Theatre

This is the third theatrical interpretation of Franz Kafka seen in just a few weeks. It involved a foray into Docklands on a sunny afternoon, crossing the Thames via cable car to reach disused warehouses directly opposite the O2 Arena. It is a slightly eerie setting that serves as the Project Colony, somewhere South of the Equator. We are there to join a visitor looking around a community that purports to be Utopian. We begin in something like a village school hall, with smiley happy people singing, dancing and playing party games until the celebrations are ended abruptly with a double door opening to let in a glare of light from which white-shirted guards emerge. We are then escorted to an underground prison where we see the true nature of the authoritarian regime that underpins this society. We witness dehumanising processes and a demonstration of “The Machine”, a horrific new device for correcting anyone who steps out of line. Returning to the “school hall”, we see the reality of life in this community and the true effects of the brutality that lies beneath its surface. The production is all about contrasting light and dark, so maybe it worked particularly well at this performance because of assistance from the glorious weather outside. With around 30 young actors involved, it is possible that numerous restaurants will be short staffed for a while.

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