Belgian shockmeisters, Ontroerend Goed, are renowned for creating immersive theatre that freaks out its audiences. I’ve never had the balls (or got in fast enough to buy tickets) to actually see them, but I was quick off the mark this year.
I’m very, very glad of that because this fully immersive metaphor for the 2008 crash is a compelling and unpredictable experience; part casino experience, part theatre part competition it’s brilliantly managed from the sound design through to the temperature control of the room. Both contribute to creating an atmosphere that winds up the audience from the get go.
It’s hilarious and fascinating in equal part.
I don’t want to say any more for risk of spoilers.
It’s completely sold out so I count myself lucky to have experienced this monumentally clever and wholly original theatrical experience.
I saw Fiction at last year’s Fringe by the same creators (Glen Neath and David Rosenberg). It was a mega creepy aural experimental show in a blackened out Potter Row and I loved it. So I was full of anticipation for a Seance in a blacked out shipping container. Whilst it’s creepy it’s by no means terrifying, not by a long shot.
Some may be freaked by it. Not I though. Having said that it’s clever and brilliantly sound designed. So, for a fiver, you get something good, just not great.
To describe this as bonkers is approaching understatement. Ina production desperately let down by both lighting and design teams Roddy Bottum’s opera is still a great success. The sound, in particular, is so all over the place that it’s hard to follow the storyline but that doesn’t matter so much as the band is brilliant, the score outstanding and the performances excellent.
Two keys, (one is Bottum), a drum machine, Tympani and two trumpets make up the ‘orchestra’ and the synth led score is simply brilliant, certainly not what I expected from a metal band member. It’s nearer early Human League than it is Faith No More.
Certainly it left some audience members cold with several walk outs, but the rest of us (notwithstanding the shoddy tech) loved it.