Review: Heart of Darkness

Sun Son Theatre
Summerhall,  Aug 9 – 27

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Presented by Sun Son Theatre, Heart of Darkness begins with the lead dancer, who shares with the audience her fascination with her grandmother, whom she was not close to due to her distant manner and language barrier. She wonders if her grandmother “chose” this life, and if she would have chosen the same if “choice’ were truly possible.

Unfortunately, perhaps only audiences who identify and can relate to this experience may be able to appreciate it fully. The show truly embodies the struggle of a woman forced into submission by cultural tradition. It is rife with symbolic resonances and ritual that hold deep meaning and historical significance. The audiences are given no mercy, as the performers plunge straight into a dark, grotesque, heavy world. The grandmother’s experience is ugly, disgusting, and forgotten.

Heart of Darkness is not an easy show to watch. It will not be enjoyable. It courageously rejects beauty, and neither glorifies nor sugarcoat its all-too-honest message. This is a story that people who were born free will not be able to understand.