Review: Darkfield, at Lewis Cubitt Square, King’s Cross
Three-part immersive production in shipping containers is for those of a plucky disposition
05 March, 2020 — By Catherine Usher
Séance, part of Darkfield. Photo: Sean Pollock Photography
DARKFIELD consists of three individual immersive experiences which can be watched as standalone shows or one after the other.
Taking place in three shipping containers located in Lewis Cubitt Square, behind King’s Cross, for each of the three shows audience members are required to wear headphones and sit (or lie) in pitch black – so you clearly need to be of a moderately plucky disposition to take part.
Séance is a a rather odd experience and only really works if you possess at least a sliver of belief in the supernatural. It has a jittery tone and lacks a clear narrative, making it fairly difficult for doubters to get on board with. It tries hard to convey a spooky atmosphere and the concept certainly has potential, but the audio content is disappointing.
Flight taps into the common fear of flying, putting a sinister spin on the everyday experience of taking a commercial flight. As the show starts, audience members are given a ticket which directs them to their seat on the aeroplane. Before the flight begins and the cabin lights are dimmed, we are given an introduction by the flight attendant, who fluctuates between being a calming and threatening presence. Those with a phobia of flying probably ought to avoid this show, which expertly taps into our insecurities. It’s certainly a flight we’ll be relieved to survive.
Coma puts the audience in a very vulnerable state – lying on our backs in rows of bunk beds in the darkness. The voice in our ears is authoritative and at times rather disturbing. It often sounds like he’s passing beside our beds and sometimes whispering in our ears. Coma explores what the human body may experience if we’re seemingly unconscious – it’s an enticingly alarming adventure which is the most memorable of the three shows. Yes, it cultivates an undeniably tense sensation, but it is innovative, thought-provoking and weirdly fun.
Top tips to fully enjoy the experience: wrap up warm, especially for the waiting periods in between shows, carry valuable possessions in a small bag (large bags must be stored in a communal box outside) and don’t wear a short skirt or it can be quite undignified climbing up and down the bunk beds for Coma.
Until March 22