Will you dare go in?
Seance hits Brighton’s Jubilee Square from Friday to Sunday, October 27-29, the Halloween creation from Glen Neath and David Rosenberg who together make up Darkfield.
As Glen says: “Climb inside our shipping container if you dare.”
For 20 terrifying minutes, 20 people will experience an intense sonic performance that explores the group’s psychology. In the disorienting darkness, you’ll ponder your views on superstition in an inventive, unnerving exercise in surprise and suspense, Glen says.
“This is the third show I have made with David. The shows usually use pitch blackness and binaural (3D) sound. The previous shows have been longer and played at a lot of different venues, but we wanted to create a show that was portable and we also wanted to use a space that we had more control over. This is a 24-foot shipping container, and our aim is to manipulate the space. The space inside is completely dark, like darkness you have never experienced before. We black absolutely everything out. We sat in there, and then after 15 minutes or so, we started to see tiny pinpricks of light, and so we blacked those out as well. We wanted total darkness.”
Visitors go in with the light on, put on their headphones, the lights go out and then darkness envelopes them.
“We wanted darkness that is disorientating, darkness where you lose all sense of where you are and which way you are sitting. In our previous shows there has been a bit of a preamble as to what to expect, but this one is very short. They are there, the lights go out and they are in the total darkness.
“Some people find the darkness is quite comforting. Some people are terrified by it. The reactions go across the spectrum. Our pieces are finished by the audience more than traditional plays are. People are bringing their own stuff into it.”
And the chances of getting out once it has started are limited.
“It is a bit like a fairground ride. Once you are on it, you are on it. It’s very difficult to get off. But we warn people that it is going to be very, very dark, are they sure they want to do it. We have actually had a couple of people crawl out.
“With this show, the idea is to frighten a little bit,” says Glen, who doesn’t want to reveal what happens over the headphones. “But there is a manifestation of some sort. To a degree it is recreating a seance, but rather differently. Obviously seances are not in pitch blackness, but to me, it is a modern version of a Victorian seance.
“The point is that people get out of it as much as they invest in it. It is a suspension of disbelief. We do play quite a lot with the idea of what is real and what isn’t.”
As for the idea of binaural sound, Glen explains that it is the 3D that we hear. It is produced by using effectively a mannequin head and putting a microphone in each year and then recording what is happening around the head.
“You then get a proper sense of 3D recording, with a microphone in the right ear and a microphone in the left ear, and you then put it together.”
But if you want to find out just what exactly you will hear during Seance, you will have to take the plunge and enter Glen’s very, very dark darkness…