Alley Theatre, in partnership with Neworld Theatre, is thrilled to present the large-scale stage adaptation and North American premiere of The Ridiculous Darkness from Saturday, November 11 to Sunday, November 19 at the ANNEX.
A multi-award-winning German radio play by Wolfram Lotz, The Ridiculous Darkness is a boldly satirical, modern mash-up of the classic novel Heart of Darkness and the Oscar-winning film Apocalypse Now.
After being charged with piracy, a Somali man seeks to understand – but his case is soon interrupted by the story of two western soldiers entering a foreign (to them) land. They’ve been ordered to retrieve a fellow officer who has gone rogue and killed two of his own comrades. But on their journey ‘down the rabbit hole’, various people and local communities encounter them, and the story becomes an earnest – albeit hilarious – exploration of how difficult, yet vital, it is to understand each other.
Directed by Marisa Emma Smith and Nyla Carpentier, The Ridiculous Darkness is produced by Alley Theatre in partnership with Neworld Theatre, and with the participation of Theatre Terrific, Tetsu Taiko, Richmond Youth Honour Choir, Downtown East Side Street Market Society, Downtown East Side Vendors Collective, Afghan Benevolent Association of BC, Realwheels Theatre, and the East Van Powwow Crew. Thirty percent of all ticket revenue will go directly to these participant organizations.
“I think as artists, as people, we need to be reminded of the value of looking beyond our own noses,” says co-director Marisa Emma Smith. “And with this project, we’re definitely looking beyond in a lot of different directions!”
“What attracted me to this play was first, how cool and epic it is,” adds co-director Nyla Carpentier. “And second, how its humour allows us to really look at ourselves, the flaws and the odd policies we create. It’s a ridiculous time in the world. Makes sense to put on a play that reflects the issues as well as bring people together.”
Daniel Arnold, who adapted the play for the stage and performs in the production says, “A couple of years ago in New York, Marisa and I witnessed a production that was co-created and performed by a wide variety of professional actors, community members, and performance groups. It was such a powerful and transformative experience that we wanted to make a similar creation with and for our own city. An exploration of how to connect across boundaries of difference. When we read this hilarious and weird German text, we knew this was the play to do that with.”
The Ridiculous Darkness won “German Play of the Year” and “Dramatist of the Year” for writer Wolfram Lotz and has received over 20 European productions since 2015. Alley Theatre’s production is the North American premiere.
The Ridiculous Darkness features performances by Clint Andrew (The Embargo Project, Arctic Air), Daniel Arnold (Little One, The Romeo Initiative), Miranda Edwards (Twelfth Night – Stratford Festival), Emilie Leclerc (Redpatch, Mathieu Mathematiques), Munish Sharma (Brothel #9, Men in White) and Amanda Sum (The Wolves), and features Taiko drummers, powwow dancers, members of the disability community, street vendors, a children’s choir, and more.
Credits for The Ridiculous Darkness:
Directed by: Marisa Emma Smith & Nyla Carpentier
Adapted by: Daniel Arnold & members of the Vancouver community
Performances by: Clint Andrew, Daniel Arnold, Miranda Edwards, Emilie Leclerc, Munish Sharma, & Amanda Sum
Designs by: Shizuka Kai, Nita Bowerman, James Coomber, John Webber
Produced by: Alley Theatre in association with Neworld Theatre
For more information on Alley Theatre, please visit the following platforms:
Twitter: www.twitter.com/alleytheatre1 (#ridarkness)
Instagram: www.instagram.com/alleytheatre1 (#ridarkness)
November 11-19 | The ANNEX | 823 Seymour Street
*Performance Times: Wednesday-Saturday, 7:30pm | Sunday, 2:00pm
*Community Opening on Remembrance Day. Closing on United Nations-sanctioned ‘World Toilet Day’.
Running Time: 135 minutes including 15-minute intermission
Tickets: From $19 at www.ridarkness.ca
Added Value: ASL & Vocal Eye Audio Description at select performances (TBA) |Wheelchair Accessible
Talkbacks & ancillary events held by each of the participant organizations (schedule TBA)
About Alley Theatre:
Founded in 2008, Alley Theatre is an award-winning, independent theatre company based in Vancouver, BC. They produce plays that “make the invisible visible” – through socially conscious content or surprising venue choices. Their shows have received two Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards and nine nominations, including the Critic’s Choice Innovation Award in 2014 and 2017. The company is also a winner of the Cultchivating Award and the Joanna Maratta Award and has received critical acclaim outside of Vancouver from Time Out New York and The New York Times. www.alleytheatre.ca