Playbill Pick Dark Noon Begins Performances Off-Broadway June 7 | Playbill

Off-Broadway News Playbill Pick Dark Noon Begins Performances Off-Broadway June 7

The story spins the myth of the American Wild West, as endlessly glorified by Hollywood westerns of the 1950s, on its head.

Dark Noon

Fix + Foxy’s Dark Noon begins performances Off-Broadway to St. Ann's Warehouse June 7.

Dark Noon, which will run through July 7, was a Playbill Pick at the 2023 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The show sees South African artists (including co-director and choreographer Nhlanhla Mahlangu) and seven South African actors join forces with acclaimed Danish director Tue Biering to spin the myth of the American Wild West, as endlessly glorified by Hollywood westerns of the 1950s, on its head.

Performed on a bare stage, the skeleton film set of a Western town emerges in real time as the actors embody the distinctive characters of America’s past: cowboys, gold seekers, missionaries, enslaved Africans, Chinese workers, Native Americans, prostitutes, Bluecoats, and Confederates.

READ: Why a Group of Artists From South Africa Are Telling the Story of America in Dark Noon

Said Biering, “From the very start there was always this idea of using these mythologies that are connected to Western movies. The idea that most of these stories are on the frontier of civilization, and the moral compass is not in place yet so you are negotiating all the time between the ‘good’ and the ‘evil.’ So [their storytelling] is very binary and very simple… [It was about] combining these very simple narratives with the idea of talking about something very complex.”

The Off-Broadway production of Dark Noon features Bongani Bennedict Masango, Joe Young, Kaygee Letsholonyana, Lillian Tshabalala, Mandla Gaduka, Siyambonga Alfred Mdubeki, and Thulani Zwane.

In addition to Biering and Mahlangu, the creative team includes set designer Johan Kølkjær, sound designer Ditlev Brinth, lighting designer Christoffer Gulløv, prop designer Marie Rosendahl Chemnitz, costume designer Camilla Lind, video designer Rasmus Kreiner, producer Annette Max Hansen, production managers Anne Balsma and Thomas Dotzler, and stage manager Svante Huniche Corell.

Said St. Ann’s Warehouse Artistic Director Susan Feldman, “We are delighted to be working with Glynis Henderson Productions, Edinburgh’s Pleasance, New York’s Alchemation, fix+foxy, and Spoleto Festival USA to premiere Dark Noon in America. What attracted me most was the humor and sense of play brought to the outrageous, preposterous, and yet deadly notions of TV westerns. (My dad was an avid fan, and we watched them all the time, especially on Sunday nights.) The cartoonish send-up of our violent upbringing, juxtaposed with the lawlessness of our current predicaments, seems a fun way to refocus the lens on who we are, where we’re from and how we live. The actors and the audience are having a ball up there on the stage, and the energy is infectious.”

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