DARKFIELD RADIO – Double Review

Published in Arts News  
DARKFIELD RADIO DARKFIELD RADIO Image © Alex Purcell

Melbourne-based theatre company Realscape Productions and UK company DARKFIELD have developed a new digital platform which allows them to bring their unique brand of entertainment into audience’s homes for the first time.


The creative team behind the sell-out multisensory shipping container experiences 'Séance', 'Flight' and 'Coma' (all currently on hiatus) have launched 'DARKFIELD RADIO' – a series of immersive audio experiences that participants can access on compatible mobile devices via the 'DARKFIELD RADIO' app.

Broadcasting now, 'DARKFIELD RADIO'’s debut show ‘Double’ is inspired by Capgras Delusion – a condition in which the sufferer believes a loved one has been replaced with an exact replica who intends to harm them. An unnerving exploration of familiarity, ‘Double’ forces the listener to question how well they know their loved ones; casting doubt in their minds and fuelling their imagination with a twisted script filled with paranoia and fear.

Just like the live shows, ‘Double’ uses 360 degree binaural sound technology to create a disorientating listening experience. It also asks listeners to sit in a dark room with their eyes closed and this simple trick increases the intensity of the performance. Without sight, listeners have no idea who or where sounds are coming from and there were several moments during the 20-minute show when I found myself reaching out into the darkness, convinced there was someone breathing in my ear or standing right behind me (not a comforting thought when you’re sealed in a dark room!).

The shows superbly-crafted script uses a winning combination of descriptive language and subtle vagueness to bring the scene to life in the listener's mind while manipulating them into questioning their reality. Voice actor Christopher Brett Bailey delivers an impressive performance, expertly switching between eerily calm and raving lunatic and there were moments when he sounded genuinely deranged (and worryingly close which again, was not a comforting thought).

Over-ear headphones are recommended to get the most out of the show's 360 listening experience and there are instructions for how to set up your listening area if you wish to set the scene for yourself.

‘Double’ is everything fans have come to expect from DARKFIELD and because it lacks the claustrophobic atmosphere of the live shows it is perfect for those who are curious but were put off by the idea of spending time in a shipping container.

'DARKFIELD RADIO' is transmitting until 30 September.

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