The third installation of the highly acclaimed multi-sensory series, DARKFIELD, COMA invites participants to slip into a collective dream state in its FRINGE WORLD premiere this January.
Presented by Realscape Productions (AU) in association with Darkfield (UK), COMA will join its predecessors, SÉANCE and FLIGHT, three ubiquitous white sea-containers that each explore a theme of fear and anxiety, in complete and utter darkness.
Where SÉANCE tests the audiences’ susceptibility to suggestible material, and FLIGHT jolts its passengers between this world and alternates, COMA invites audiences to take part in a strange mass experiment, to explore the dark recesses of their own mind, over 30 minutes.
COMA is set in a 40ft sea-container, each wall lined with bunk beds. Audience members lie down in a bed, each becoming separated from their counterparts. Alone in the darkness, the multi-sensory elements engulf each participant, suggestive of the show’s own namesake.
Imagine the moment of waking up is actually the moment when your dream begins. In light of this new and strange reality, how can we save you from the unspeakable horrors which lurk in the dark recesses of your mind? The only cure we offer is a placebo and a promise. Please remember when you leave, to take your body with you.
The setting is clinical and reminiscent of a hospital ward, and despite being created prior to COVID-19, it becomes more relevant and confronting now that the pandemic is ever-present.
As with all Darkfield experiences, a strange world is built from 360 degree binaural sound that perplexes the senses, deepening the immersion by casting doubt on what is real and what is imagined. Loss of vision heightens the remaining senses, making them vulnerable to manipulation.
For the team at Realscape Productions, the Western Australian season marks the return of the Darkfield sea-containers to their Australian tour, having been stored in a paddock since COVID closed the doors on much of the theatre industry in March.
“We can’t think of a better place to resume the Darkfield tour than Perth. The city comes alive with the Fringe, and our WA audiences are always exceptional,” commented Amy Johnson, producer at Realscape Productions.
“For us, as well as so many other producers, FRINGE WORLD is the first step to finding our feet in a new, COVID-safe normal. We’ve missed our audiences as much as they’ve missed live experiences, so being able to premiere in WA is more than just exciting – it has given us so much to look forward to after such a bizarre year,” she continued.
Those looking for a taste of what to expect before FRINGE WORLD can tune in to Darkfield Radio – a series of audio encounters designed to be experienced at home.
Darkfield’s creators David Rosenberg and Glen Neath are the masterminds behind the immersive experiences, and have recently sparked global attention of XR and VR communities with their ability to create worlds for the audience using only audio.
COMA, FLIGHT and SÉANCE
Woodside Pleasure Garden, Russell Square, Northbridge (Perth)
Season: 15 January – 14 February 2021 (various times)
For more information, visit: www.darkfield.com.au for details.
Image: COMA Audience in bunks – photo by Mihaela Bodlovic
Note: Not suitable for those under 15. Check content warnings before purchase of tickets