ImmersiveLondonReview

 Darkfield – Lewis Cubitt Square, Kings Cross, London

Reviewer: Mike Wells

Artistic Directors: Glen Neath and David Rosenberg

In a small square near Kings Cross station are three large shipping containers. On the outside they’re pretty unremarkable, but step inside and your grip on reality will be tested.

Each container plays host to a different experience. Séance, Flight, and Coma, are their names, scrawled on the side of the white containers in large black letters. Each of them asks different questions of the audience, but all of them concern the nature of mortality.

Each of these experiences use binaural sound as a core component of the theatre. With each of the audience members wearing headphones, the containers are plunged into complete darkness early-on in the show. Losing your sight forces your imagination into overdrive, drawing on your remaining heightened senses to try and make sense of it all. It’s a masterpiece in sound design and fantastically intelligent storytelling.

Séance takes place sat on worn velvet chairs sat around a long-covered table. A couple of bells hang from the ceiling between dim pendant lights. As you take your seats, you’re facing other audience members, most of whom look as nervous as you feel.

Of all the experiences, this is the one that will leave your heart pounding and your mind racing. It challenges your superstitions and makes you question what’s real and what isn’t in a truly unsettling experience.

In Flight, half a fuselage from a passenger jet has been squeezed inside the container, complete with fold-down tv screens and overhead lockers. The scene is set eerily well, and once the show begins you have to remind yourself you’re sat in a container very much on solid ground.

This is an experiment in quantum mechanical interpretation, drawing heavily on the Schrödinger’s cat paradox – the irony of which cannot be lost while sat inside a large white box questioning what is real and what is not.

Coma is yet again a completely different world. Lined with three-tiered bunkbeds on either side, it has a bizarre futuristic Orwellian feel to it. This show takes place lying down, which naturally feels much more restrictive, and while the beds are perfectly comfortable, there is an overriding sense of unease here, which is immediately unsettling.

While lying on the bed, you are taken on a journey which is as unnerving as any of the three experiences. You allow yourself to be taken on the journey, but never know whether it’s something you actually want to do – but the fear of missing out means you continue to conform, to do as your told, and enjoy the ride.

Each show is between 20-30 minutes, and all can be scheduled one after the other with a short break in between. There isn’t a particular order in which you have to see the shows, but the SéanceFlightComa works really well.

If you have the chance to see this, do it. This is a truly unique experience you will not forget.

Runs until 22 March 2020

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