Two bells hang above a long, shrouded table in the intimate space of the container. Darkfield’s latest production is a 20-minute horror experience that is not easy to forget.
The idea behind this show is, you’ve guessed it, a séance. The intimate group that make up the audience tonight are instructed to wear headphones (there’s a big aural theme at Vault this year) through which the invigilator is heard providing information.
Once the performance begins, it’s as if you are trapped within a horror film; think The Others – in particular, the scene with the elderly woman communicating with spirits. The recording of a man’s voice begins the binaural performance, as he inquires if anyone has lost a person close to them. In a similar fashion to the company’s previous Vault show, Flight, Séance is presented in pitch-black darkness, so the sound effects are booming and insidious; you blink repeatedly, straining to see something, anything, but the dark is densely overpowering.
After we are commanded by the medium to put our hands on the table and warned never to remove them, it’s challenging not to expect the worst. The structure begins shaking under his ever-approaching footsteps, the creaks and movements producing the feeling that both spiritualist – and later, the ghost – are within arm’s reach. The medium walks around asking if we believe (presumably in spirits), recorded responses relayed, all the while making you wonder how close he is to you: the trembles give the sensation that he is pacing the table top. Trepidation, fear and paranoia are felt fully during Darkfield’s production, and it’s not for the faint of heart; the creeping idea of a ghost walking amongst the living is created with incredible realism, while the quaking set provides a truly believable and convincing séance that makes the short duration feel like an eternity.
Séance is at Vehicle Venues from 23rd January until 17th March 2019. For further information or to book visit the show’s festival page here.
Read more reviews from our Vault Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Vault Festival website here.
Watch the trailer for Séance here: