Brett Herriot at the Festivals

Eulogy, Summerhall – The Terrace, Venue 26 Review:

An intense and exhilarating ride

**** 4 Stars

Acclaimed immersive theatre company Darkfield first popped up in the fringe in 2016 with their white shipping container stationed outside Summerhall in 2016. Using the immersive technique of removing sight from its audiences and plunging them into darkness and making them rely on their other senses as they then deploy binaural sound and speech recognition technology that leads us on a journey deep into the soul of the mind and pitches us into a sphere of reality meets imagination.

To celebrate their return to the Fringe in 2022 Darkfield are presenting a trilogy of their works and there latest creation “Eulogy” returns to their home at Summerhall and entering the white shipping container you’re greeted by two rows of stainless Steele laundry cages that have been converted in seats, its clinical and reminiscent of many a hotel laundry. You’re then invited to pop the headset on, and position the microphone to your mouth as the lights go out and pitch blackness envelopes you, you enter a dreamlike, labyrinthine hotel that is imagined in the blackness. Having answered the questions given to you, you’re then transported through rooms and down corridors, into a car park, a canteen and a lift which transports us between floors, taking us deeper into the dream. It is both an intense and exhilarating ride and this deep exploration of the relative merits of an embodied human conscious experience versus one that only exists in the imagination.

As you exit the Container 30 minutes later blinking into the bright sunshine your left pondering what have you just exposed yourself too? Thrilling it may be but there is a deeper truth to Darkfield’s work. We as audiences and those that perform in the arts rely totally on what can be achieved visually  and when that vision is removed we have to go on what our remaining senses are telling us and Darkfield know just how to tingle those senses and make what clearly impossible a reality.

This is very much a grown up experience and if you’re not comfortable in total pitch blackness or have any form of claustrophobia this is not the journey for you, however if you want reshape your view of what a Fringe performance can achieve and are willing to do battle with your own mortality then entering the darkness of the white shipping container to the depths of the hotel below then is a must try adventure it’s just a shame it doesn’t last longer but perhaps for some it’s quite long enough!  

Eulogy, Summerhall – The Terrace, Venue 26 for tickets go to: Eulogy | Theatre | Edinburgh Festival Fringe (edfringe.com)

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