Edinburgh Fringe 2022
A 24ft shipping container as transformed into a Victorian séance room. Over 20 minutes it explores the psychology of a group of people, and asks that they believe, not only in what seems to be happening inside the container but also in what might be conjured up into the room with them.
Science tells us that when we lose one of our senses, others become more sensitive. Seance proves that if you take away sight, hearing becomes vivid. The cramped shipping container has seats for 20 people. Behind each chair is a set of headphones that deliver the experience. With admonitions that all phones need to be off and put away to ensure absolute darkness, the show begins by asking the audience to place their hands on the table in front of them and not remove them for fear of unleashing spirits.
Over the next 20 minutes the audience is taken on an aural rollercoaster. The excellent soundscape soon takes over and we easily forget the headphones in which we have snugly tucked our ears. With surprising deftness, the Medium leading the seance talks to other participants challenging them to say if they “believe”. He gets them to get up from their seat and lay on the table in front of us. Soon enought the spirit world arrives in the form of evockative audio that, without visual reassurance, make us believe that something very real is happening in the room. The added special effects of the table shaking and bells ringing (did they really or was it just a recording?) enhance the supernatural effect.
The experience is cathartic and when we return to reality, our nervous laughter conveys our honest relief. At a fringe festival where so many shows take us down tried and predictable paths, this unepected experience is a surprising and welcome change to the usual Fringe event.