IF you have ever read Heart of Darkness and wondered how a stage version would look then mould-breaking, innovative theatre company Imitating the Dog have one answer.

Go digital.

Live performance with high-technology is at the core of this re-visiting of the classic piece of literature.

Joseph Conrad's novella was written in 1899 and many literary critics believe he had a lot in common with George Orwell - a prophetic thread running throughout their respective works.

Heart of Darkness was the basis for the 1979 film Apocalypse Now, which is shown here in clip form.

The novella tells the tale of Captain Marlowe on a maritime mission to capture the enigmatic - trader Kurtz based deep in the the Congo Free State.

When you enter the theatre to experience this unique adaptation you see a stage that looks like a film set.

Huge hanging screens and cameras on tripods await the five-strong cast who will take the audience away on a two hour twenty minute dramatic journey.

There is an interval to gather your thoughts.

Imagine if we had this type of production while at school, I thought, as I and other members of the audience were surprised by footage of famous political figures such as Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage.

It is an electric graphic novel version using CinemaScope to recreate this most intense of stories.

The production is a clever - yes, that is the word 'clever' - interpretation of the book that still has controversy stamped over its pages.

The five versatile actors in character are filmed (using the green screen technique) by other actors who are not in character.

There are video clips shown as the dialogue stops and starts and atmospheric incidental music.

Visuals and text become one in this multi-layered performance.

If that sounds confusing then it all becomes clear when the cast break off from the play to discuss how they are going to stage it and after coming to some sort of way forward they go

back to the book and the play set in modern dress.

A fascinating approach to storytelling.

Here Marlowe is a private detective played by Keicha Greenidge. Her expressions of shock and bewilderment are captured perfectly on the screens. A very talented actress to look out for.

The action takes place in a Europe dominated by concentration camps - a chilling opening interview with a commandant is accompanied by stark images of barbed wire and haunted faces.

All the elements from the book are here: greed, brutality, capitalism and colonialism, sexism and violence.

The actors and audience work hard together. We are all on the journey.

Andrew Quick and Pete Brooks are the writers and directors who bring 'the horror' to life again in such a powerful. distinctive way.

Challenging and striking - four stars.

The show's Liverpool Playhouse run ended on Saturday.