Words: Caitlin Finnerty
Step into the relentless and unvarnished world of Dark Noon, where history is unravelled by the vanquished, in a gripping and unique theatre experience that dares to explore the dark underbelly of the Wild West. Seven South African actors breathe life into a twisted Western narrative that mingles cowboys and Indians, gold rush dreams, and untamed anarchy.
With the audience seated on the stage, surrounded on three sides by the rectangular set, Dark Noon immerses viewers in an audio-visual tapestry. Live streaming cameras project multifaceted perspectives onto a screen, exposing the chaotic, tumultuous scenes. The actors’ sweat-drenched performances and relentless energy transcend the boundaries of the narrative, frequently breaking the fourth wall and engaging the audience.
This poignant exploration of Western civilization’s unchecked brutality utilizes modern cultural references to mirror the land’s turbulent history. As the large set gradually engulfs the stage, it reflects the ruthless colonization that took over the once peaceful land.
Dark Noon doesn’t flinch from the grotesque realities of the past, showcasing death, racism, rape, land theft, genocide, and cannibalism. The story unfolds in chapters, with moments oscillating between fun and disturbing, constantly demanding the audience’s contemplation.
Confrontational, demanding, and deeply moving, Dark Noon shocks the senses, echoing the violence of its era. The performance culminates in a standing ovation, a testament to its gripping impact and the actors’ skill. This unconventional portrayal defies the glamorised Western narratives, revealing the harrowing truths hidden beneath the surface of history.
Pleasance at EICC, Lennox Theatre
14-15, 17-22, 24-27 Aug
Run time: 1 hour 40 minutes