Until November 19th, the Annex Theatre is home of The Ridiculous Darkness, an ambitious work adapted from an award-winning German radio-play. A mash up of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocolypse Now and in turn its source material The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Now set in Afghanistan, the satirical outline takes on modern racial and social stereotypes.
Being a radio script leaves producers Alley Theatre and partners Neworld Theatre open season to create the world in which this off-beat satire exists on paper, the result is Ridiculous by name and ridiculous by nature. Although the storyline follows the actions of German Military Officer Pellnerin and his boat pilot Stefan Dorsch secret mission to find the rogue Colonel Deutinger in the depths of the Afghan wilderness, the production often veers off course to tackle local social issues and breaks the 4th wall to introduce other local cultural collaborators.
The production comes off as a random collection of thoughts loosely strung together by the Afghan adventure. Envisioning it like a old-school radio serial; each episode includes a brief tale of action-adventure, a cultural interlude and a social commentary, helps to makes some sense of the eclectic 2 hours. And like a radio play, the 6 core actors play all the characters, interchanging parts like a game of musical chairs.
Like its collaboration of thoughts, The Ridiculous Darkness co-producers Alley Theatre and Neworld Theatre and the core 6 players bring together an impressive collaboration of other local arts and cultural groups; Theatre Terrific, Tetsu Taiko, RealWheels Theatre, Richmond Youth Honour Choir, Downtown East Side Street Market Society, Downtown East Side Vendors Collective, Afghan Benevolent Association of BC, and East Van Powwow all contribute to the show at times packing 40+ people onstage.
The Ridiculous Darkness opened to a sold out audience at Annex Theatre on Remembrance Day, and closes on November 19th. Visit Alley Theatre and Neworld Theatre online for more information and tickets. Note: November 17th will be ASL interpreted