Fourth Monkey appears to specialise in productions that explore the darker side of human nature, or so their Edinburgh Fringe appearances say. Past productions include A Clockwork Orange in 2010 as well as 4.48 Psychosis in 2012, a production that left it audience slavering for the next installment. And, here it is: Project Colony, a new take on Franza Kafka’s 1914 novel.
Originally, In the Penal Colony was written as a short and featured only four characters: The Explorer, The Officer, The Condemned, The Soldier. The story was written from the Explorer’s point of view as he is guided around the prison site, encountering the ‘torture machine’ for the first time. Thankfully, Kafka’s work always lends itself to interpretation and easily resonates with other ages and experiences, like the Fourth Monkey’s production will no doubt do for us.
Throwing the minimal cast list to the wind, this new production features a 52 strong group and takes place at the Trinity Buoy Wharf, an East London, regenerated dockland oozing with atmosphere. Hamish MacDougall and James Yeatman direct the production. Their last collaboration took place at the Barbican (nice work if you can get it) on Complicite’s The Master and Margarita. The company have earned a rep for presenting challenging theatre experiences for both the actors and audience (no hiding at the back then?). The audience will meet at a designated point and from there on in, be transported into the immersive experience. The story is taken to the 1950s and features a travelling salesmen invited to witness the execution of a prisoner.
This highly-anticipated production will no doubt take the immersive theatre trend to the next level and shock and impress those who visit. It is also a great opportunity to visit one of docklands new creative communities, located across the water from the o2, with stunning views of the river. Plus, it’s the site of London’s only lighthouse. Life just doesn’t get much better, does it? (Words: Laura Thornley)
On until April 27th. For more info, visit: www.fourthmonkey.co.uk