Theatre | 1 hour 45mins
>> Incoming, deep travel
>> Estimated 600 souls
>> Estimated 600 souls lost in 81 minutes
There is a Dark Land in the depths of space. Ships are drawn to it like moths to a flame, where they are consumed, destroyed. A lighthouse orbits the Dark Land. Teller Ghent is the keeper – one woman alone on Lighthouse 5. But the lighthouse is dying. Teller’s only company is a sentient computer with a taste for the poetic… and a host of terrible visions from the end of the universe.
Teller is afraid. She thinks she might be losing. But she is never, never giving up.
“It’s theatre at its most demanding, its most uncomfortable, its most evocative, its most primal, its most human, its most complex, and its most brilliant… it’s highly unlikely you’ll experience a more unforgettably visceral, immersive, darkly intense and mesmerisingly beautiful theatrical 105 minutes this year. A masterpiece.” 365.bristol.com
Dark Land Light House is a visual and visceral science-fiction for theatre. Its premiere run took place at Bristol Old Vic in April 2016. In May 2021 we were awarded Trailblazer funding from Bristol & Bath Creative R&D to develop a pitch for adapting the story for Virtual Reality.
photos: Paul Blakemore
Dark Land Light House is concerned with themes of loneliness, displacement and uncertain identity in the face of an uncaring universe; underpinned by a deep-seated belief that the insurmountable should not daunt us.
Genre doesn’t get done much in theatre; but we like to think about genre as a storytelling tool – a shortcut to big ideas. And we’re interested in how selected sci-fi tropes and themes can have a palpable, experiential effect for an audience who are right there with us. We want to use the theatre space as an instrument, designing light and sound to create intense atmospheres that envelop and overwhelm the audience.
Here’s some responses to the show:
“Eerie, thought-provoking, moving, exquisite – Dark Land Light House is a reminder of all that theatre can achieve, when done well and with a dauntless imagination.”
Judy Darley, skylightrain.com
“an intensely unsettling, visceral treat with haunting sound design & gripping lead performance.”
“Absolutely LOVED #DarkLandLightHouse creepy, atmospheric, thrilling and beautifully performed… Saw it twice – mind blown both times. Such a treat to see sci-fi done so well on stage.”
“mesmerising and astonishing”
“Sophisticated, deep fall into our collective darkness.”
“one of the most disturbing and watchable shows I’ve ever seen”
“Not sure how I’m going to sleep after seeing this amazing show.”
Here’s the original trailer we made for the premiere run in 2016, which gives a sense of the vibe of the piece:
Cast includes: Laura Dannequin, Derek Frood, Jessica Macdonald
Written by Timothy X Atack
Directed by Tanuja Amarasuriya
Original Music and Sound by North Sea Navigator & Timothy X Atack
Production Design by Rosanna Vize
Lighting Design by Ben Pacey
Projection & Video Design by Rod Maclachlan
Production Manager: Chris Swain
Production Photography: Paul Blakemore
Produced by MAYK. A Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Bristol Old Vic Ferment commission. Developed with support from Bristol University Drama Department. Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.