On the 1st of April 2023, Dan and Dane took a trip to Lakeside Arts Centre to take on Darkfields original container show Séance. Just like Darkfields other shows such as Flight, Eulogy and Coma, Séance takes place in a shipping container this time holding 20 guests per show seated in a well-themed and dimly lit victorian parlour suite. Dan had experienced this show a few years back at Vault Festival in London. But for Dane, it was a brand new experience. Now due to the nature of the show, it is best to go in as blind as possible so this review might be shorter than most but we want to keep it fairly spoiler free. Like with Flight and Eulogy, we will focus more on how the experience made us feel rather than what actually goes on.
When you arrive for any Darkfield show the first thing you will notice is a white shipping container with just the name of the show emblazoned on the side. Sometimes you might get a subtle clue such as Flight with its little cat or Séance's headless suited man. But what that will mean is best kept a secret. After having your QR codes scanned there will be a short briefing before the show. The usual safety spiel and warnings ensue, filling the awaiting guests with a sense of trepidation and dread. What exactly is going to happen in these twenty minutes or so inside an unassuming shipping container? The final warning is key to the show, turn off all phones and light-making devices because this show takes place in total darkness and when we say total darkness believe us when we say you can't even see your hand in front of your face. With all that aside it was time to enter.
Warning: Some light spoilers may feature ahead, read at your own risk.
This is no real spoiler as the interior of Séance is featured in all the promo work. The set is beautiful yet simple. Ten seats on either side of a long table-clothed table with a few lights above and a bell hanging from the ceiling. Behind you are the headphones which bring the show to life. We sit down and after a few moments, the lights shut off to acclimatise to the darkness, when the lights come back on this is the last chance to leave the show if you do not want to proceed. Once everyone is comfortable the lights plunge back into the darkness and Séance begins.
Séance starts slowly building up tension and we are introduced to the medium, it doesn't take long to start to feel like this gentleman is anything but a gentleman, rather a darkly persuasive antagonist who speaks sternly and with force to the entire group. Before long the Séance truly starts to begin and it's clear we have been lured into a false sense of security. To say more would give too much away but what we shall say is what happens in the next 15 minutes takes you on a chilling journey with some well-timed jump scares into the mix. As the Séance builds momentum it becomes very clear that our friend was not to be trusted and we are now in severe danger of whoever or whatever has come through the channelling. Séance then builds to a crazed crescendo and a barrage to the senses which leaves the guest in a state of fear and unease before coming to an end and the lamps slowly glowing back up to the light the container revealing the final outcome on everyone's faces around you. We didn't hang around for long after but from what we heard from those who exited with us, the show was very well received.
Séance was Darkfields first shipping container experience and it still lives up to expectations even from people who have already faced the show. Dane was left feeling thoroughly creeped out and disturbed so I think it is safe to say that Darkfield once again had done its job of messing with the mind. At the time of writing this review, Séance has one more day in Nottingham before moving on again. We have it under good authority that Coma may one day grace the lakeside and also that there is a new show in the works, that is Arcade.
If you would like to experience Séance tickets are only £8 per person, £5 for Students and can be purchased at the link below.