Visitors at Darkfield Radio
Darkfield Radio are the new kids on the block. Founded in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis, they don’t offer what you would usually expect from a radio play – in their words, “no news, no music, no opinions”. Instead, the company offer unique and spectacular immersive audio experiences – and it’s already clear that they are here to stay.
Their second show, Visitors, has a similar concept as the first in that the comfort of the listener’s home is invaded by a mini-horror scenario. With two participants being required to share the experience, each with their own headphones and smartphone, the plot unravels via the Darkfield Radio app as the listeners follow instructions during the narration.
Due to the very intimate nature of listening to audio via headphones – and the illusion of space that it creates – directors David Rosenberg and Glen Neath have produced a masterpiece in which you can never be entirely sure that what you hear is not real; it’s pure horror gold.
Throughout the roughly 20-minute runtime, we are confronted with the sounds and the whispers of two ghostly figures – performed excellently by Sonya Seva and Greer Dale-Foulkes – who roam the room and discuss their craving for the sensation of human touch, which they have lost due to their untimely death. The experience at times feels so real that one can hardly help the urge to check on one’s fellow participant; the atmosphere is absolutely perfect.
While Glen Neath’s plot isn’t particularly exceptional – how could it be at such short a runtime when the sensation is the focus? – it’s sufficient to produce goosebumps as it unfolds, and the pacing and prose itself are excellent, making the production a truly remarkable piece of entertainment.
While from a storytelling perspective Visitors isn’t the most ground-breaking play ever written, its sheer uniqueness and innovation when it comes to exploiting the benefits of pure sound make this an immensely rewarding and memorable experience, and it paves the way for a whole range of new narratives which can be told utilising these methods. A must-hear all the way.
Visitors is available to experience on the Darkfield Radio app every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 6th October 2020. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.