Brett Herriot at the Festivals

Séance, Pleasance Dome – Potterrow Plaza Venue 23 Review:

“Scares just as much as Thrills

*** 3 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 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 their original creation “Séance” returns to a new home at Pleasance Dome Potterrow Plaza and entering the white shipping container you’re greeted by two rows of theatre seats and a long white table clothed covered table, the walls are black and spirit bells hang from the ceiling. You’re then invited to pop the headset on, as the lights go out and pitch blackness envelopes your vision an event of a traditional séance meets horror story unfolds as you question every movement in the darkness around you it’s designed to scare just as much as thrill.

This is very much a psychological thriller but it’s starting to show its age a little especially as Darkfield have moved there technology on with both “Eulogy” and “Flight” also appearing this fringe season and the container being used was stifling hot but perhaps that’s part of the experience.

As you exit the Container 20 minutes later blinking into the bright sunshine of the plaza 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 fears of those long since dead then entering the darkness of the white shipping container is the psychological experience you’ve been looking for!

Séance, Pleasance Dome – Potterrow Plaza Venue 23 for tickets go to: Séance | Theatre | Edinburgh Festival Fringe (edfringe.com)

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