Project Colony at Trinity Buoy Wharf
Taking place in a secluded lighthouse at Trinity Buoy Wharf, Project Colony, the latest production by Fourth Monkey Theatre Company, is an exciting new adaptation of Franz Kafka’s In the Penal Colony. Aided by its atmospheric setting, the performance is not so much a play as an interactive experience whereby the audience is watching the drama as it unfolds, from the inside.
Fourth Monkey is a company dedicated to the training and development of emerging actors, and the cast of Project Colony demonstrates some striking new talent. Describing its work as “evolutionary theatre,” the company has received much critical acclaim for its past productions and this new piece certainly doesn’t fail to impress.
As the production begins, members of the audience could be forgiven for thinking that they are about to enjoy an evening of dancing and party games, arranged by their enthusiastic young hosts in the 1950s-esque dancehall. As the night proceeds, however, it becomes apparent that, hidden behind this quaint facade, there is a darkness waiting to be revealed.
One of the things that make this performance so refreshingly different is its unpredictable plot. The audience is oblivious to what will happen next, their evening repeatedly redirected by a series of surprising occurrences – both pleasant and sinister.
Without giving away any of these surprises, it is worth noting that some parts of the performance are frightening and could be upsetting for younger viewers, meaning it isn’t really an event for those under 16. Nonetheless, it is a very social evening and is highly recommended for groups, friends and couples. For a full appreciation of the experience at its most exciting, it is perhaps worth avoiding doing too much internet research beforehand, and simply turning up with an open mind (and a warm coat and pair of sensible shoes, as there is some walking involved).
The performance can be recommended to anyone interested in theatre – or anyone that wants a new, exciting and very different night out.
Project Colony is at Trinity Buoy Wharf until 27th April 2013. For further information visit the theatre company’s website here.