I step out, into the bright sunshine, blinking my eyes back into working order. I've just come out of Séance and I feel decidedly uneasy.
Here’s a very short video with my first impressions, shot a few minutes after stepping back out into the dazzlingly bright January afternoon.
Séance made me feel nervous, prickly-skinned, unsettled. Throughout the first half of the show I could feel a bead of sweat inching its way down my face, in excruciating slow motion. My eyes began to play tricks on me, after being in the absolute darkness for a while, throwing up visual hallucinations that were always just on the edge of decipherability. And that wasn’t even part of the show.
This is an almost entirely auditory experience, with the story told through binaural audio, delivered via noise-cancelling headphones. It’s of such a high quality that it felt incredibly real. I knew exactly what was around me, but I could hear and feel an entirely different scene. I couldn’t help but react accordingly.
Séance sets out to test what you believe in. It stunningly achieves this goal. It’s a show that redefines theatre and makes each individual audience member feel that the narrative is revolving specifically around them.
It's a unique and exhilarating experience. The show is only twenty minutes long, but that’s all it needs to make you feel… something. I could say so much more, but to do so would be irresponsible.
Just like any theatre performance, you need to go into it with some intentional suspension of disbelief to get the most out. So, head along, throw yourself into the sensation and you’ll experience something amazing.
Seance runs from 19 January until 10 February at The Palace Society, Elizabeth Quay.
Tickets available from www.fringeworld.com.au