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Review: Eulogy, Darkfield (Ed Fringe 2022)

Darkfield's previous work sits aside from most other immersive experiences: lucid

dream-like worlds contained within the confines of modest shipping containers.

Having experienced these hallucinogenic binaural shows in previous years, I

jumped at the chance to see their newest acid-trip, Eulogy, and boy was I

excited. Donning a pair of trademark Darkfield headphones, I check in and take my

roller cage seat. As the lights go down, I know the format to expect but - as ever with

Darkfield - I have a sense to expect the unexpected.

Over the course of thirty minutes, I am guided through an outlandish and eccentric

world with the help of a companion - we check into a hotel, we miss a rehearsal (for

what? We’re not quite sure yet), we try to get to the basement. An ornament is knocked

over and somebody has to take the blame. A ritual occurs in which we must proceed to

follow every step but things soon take a dark turn.

Darkfields intriguing sensory offering provides you with a level of agency not yet seen in

their previous works. Microphones on the donned headsets impart a level of

interactivity, with your companion prompting you through a series of questions that

require a YES or NO answer. This is where, for me, the piece falls behind the likes of

Flight and Coma; hearing other participants in the room answering the same questions

brings you back into the realisation that you are in a shipping container outside

Summerhall. All of their other experiences enable you to truly feel as though you are

alone, that what you are experiencing is for you and only you. Aside from a rather

amusing reveal at the end, I feel this particular texture was dispensable.

Eulogy fails to hit the same heights as Darkfield's previous shows; but if you are interested in their work, I would still thoroughly recommend it.

Eulogy is playing at Summerhall until the 28th August. Tickets here.

Photo by Susanne Dietz

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