Edinburgh Fringe 2022
You enter a container, are asked to put on headphones, the lights go out. You are asked to put your hands on the table in front of you. With another 17 or so strangers, collectively you hear somebody somewhere try and scare the bejesus out ye, whilst the table moves, noises disconcert and then we leave in the light.
I have done a couple of these now and whilst there is not a narrative to make comment upon, really there is an experience. As an experience it is mildly disturbing. If you go in, hoping that your cynicism shall take you through it, then finding things to moan about – it’s not scary, that was hardly impressive etc.is to misunderstand the experience of it. I like them, though it has taken me a little while to shed the expectation that they will wow me.
They ask a very simple question of our thrill a minute desire for gratification. During this, I was not always aware of being in a filled room and caught myself contemplating my senses and what the noises in my headphones were telling me. I cannot claim to have reached a heightened sense of thinking, being or believing but I did get a sense that this was mystical. I felt something.
After I left, I started to feel as though the idea, after COVID, of being back in a closed space, a tightly packed one, without mask, and no hand sanitiser available at the entrance was suddenly not so weird. Perhaps I had a feeling of normality, whilst trying to listen out to hear if the dead would speak to me. And they said lockdown was weird…