Craft Theatre’s Dante’s Inferno: A Modern Telling kicks off at The Rag Factory in east London in January. The Upcoming caught up with artistic director Rocky Rodriguez Jr to talk hell, comedy and what to expect next.

You’re carrying on a 700-year-old artistic tradition in portraying Dante’s work. In what ways does your Modern Telling bring the story up to date?

Our Inferno focuses on the sins of a person in modern western culture: self-idolatry, material obsession, and conscious ignorance, for instance. We also take a look at “states of mind” (stresses, insecurities, fearful thoughts); we believe to be common among people, these types of thought processes seem to trap the individual in a state of hell, thereby making them miss their lives. “You do not have to believe in God to be in Hell, Dante” (from Dante’s Inferno: A Modern Telling).

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The Upcoming - Interview with Rocky Rodriguez Jr on Dante's Inferno