Words by Ed King / Lead pic of Medium Eva Carrière taken from the book Phenomena of Materialisation – first published by Baron Von Schrenck-Notzing (1913)
On Tuesday 18th October, Séance comes to Birmingham – held inside a shipping container based set on Centenary Square.
Running until Saturday 29th October, Séance will hold thirteen (but of course) shows every day except the Lord’s Day – each one served up as ‘a 15 minute presentation in total darkness’, between 5pm and 9.45pm.
Tickets are priced at £8 and available through the REP Theatre. For direct event information & ticket sales you can call the REP Box Office on 0121 236 4455 or visit www.birmingham-rep.co.uk
Séance carries an ‘age recommendation’ of 18+
The latest piece of immersive theatre from David Rosenberg & Glen Neath, along with producer Andrea Salazar, Séance is the first show from Darkfield – a company that uses shipping container based sets to present ‘a series of irrational spaces that are at odds with their physical appearance’.
Previously showcased at this years’ Deralict Contemporary Performance & Live Arts Festival in Preston, and the Overtly Young, Wealthy & Substance Guzzling Latitude Festival in Suffolk, Séance makes its non festival debut in Birmingham on Tuesday 18th October.
Described by The Guardian’s theatre critic, Lyn Gardner, as ‘Rosenberg and Neath’s best collaboration to date’, Séance is the third ‘total darkness’ theatre piece from the sensory depriving duo that brought you Ring and Fiction – this time using the isolated setting of a shipping container to set their stage.
No doubt evolving the idea from The Boy Who Climbed Out Of His Face, another shipping container based show that Shunt – Rosenberg’s ‘London based performance collective’ – launched in 2014, Séance is seemingly clearer in focus. It’s meant to scare you, whilst manipulating the power of superstition and suggestive empathy. Like a séance.
And as with both Ring and Fiction, Séance is led by a central protagonist whilst the audience members fill in the creative blanks with their own sensory deprived minds. This time it’s Tom Lyall, another Shunt founder and a man with a Twitter feed so restrained and funny I want to use it as wallpaper. But in such a literally confined performance space, with only 20 audience members at any one show, I have a spooky feeling Séance’s narrative will be a lot more… immediate.
Having toe dipped into the pitch black shenanigans of Fiction when it came to mac a couple of years ago (read my Birmingham Review of Fiction here) I can vouch for the darkness of a Messers Rosenberg & Neath production. But I’d be interested to see (or not see) what shakes its way to the surface when their creative mandate is as simple as fear. Although I do suffer from chronic claustrophobia and violent outbursts of panic… is there a form I can fill out? It’ll be fine.
Séance is a standalone theatre production, but runs as an arguable precursor to The Exorcist – the UK’s stage set première of Blatty’s 1971 horror stalwart, opening at the REP on Friday 21st October. For more on The Exorcist at the REP, click here.
Séance runs in Birmingham from 18th – 29th October, held in a special shipping container based set in Centenary Square. For direct info & online ticket sales, visit www.birmingham-rep.co.uk/event/seance
For more on Darkfield, the production company behind Séance, visit www.darkfield.org
For more from the Birmingham REP, visit www.birmingham-rep.co.uk