‘Visitors’ was nightmarish.
In the wake of the pandemic, Darkfield Australia has turned digital to craft unique audio experiences which transforms listeners’ homes into a theatre. ‘Visitors’ is their latest spine-tingling creation presented by Realscape Productions in association with Darkfield.
For those brave enough to embark on this haunting experience, ‘Visitors’ asks participants to sit three metres apart at a table in the living room. With headphones on and eyes closed, audiences will invite a ghostly couple in for a late night visit. What follows is an interesting exploration of the deeply human need for physical touch and intimacy; so relevant in a world full of social distancing.
Directed by David Rosenberg and Glen Neath, and also written by Neath, ‘Visitors’ plays out for 20 short minutes, with cleverly crafted dialogue slowly unravelling the motivations of two mysterious visitors through astonishing binaural sound techniques. Designed for two people, the sensation is strange at first but participants will quickly become enthralled by the sound of their voices as they grow from benign to purely terrifying.
From the moment the show starts, every sound is suspect as doors close and creak with extreme realism that it’s almost impossible not to feel like the visitors are actually there. It’s so realistic, it’s like they are walking around the living room. One moment you’re listening to their muffled conversation, then suddenly they lean right over your shoulder and whisper so closely that you can feel their breath in your neck.
Performers Sonya Seva and Greer Dale-Foulkes, who play the characters of Alex and Jean respectively, create a deeply unnerving atmosphere through the medium of speech, which is both eerily cheery and absolutely menacing. They are calm and calculated as they orchestrate their “visit”. The dialogue slowly divulges two spirits so starved for human connection that they will try anything just to remember how it feels.
The visitors ask audiences to participate – to move, to touch one’s face – and it’s easy to be compelled to follow their instruction, even though the overall sentiment is terrifying. Some actions are difficult to complete without opening your eyes, which momentarily breaks the illusion. Perhaps wear a blindfold (if you dare) or plunge the room in complete darkness. It’s important to ensure the space is cleared from any potential tripping hazards.
As the second episode to feature as part of Darkfield Radio, ‘Visitors certainly delivers. The at-home show features hauntingly poetic dialogue, extremely believable sound effects and a chilling performance by the two actors. The experience is sure to shock, enthral, terrify and entertain. If you want a perfect immersive experience for Halloween, then look no further.
‘Visitors’ performs until Thursday, 31 December 2020, from the comfort of your own home in your living room. To purchase tickets, visit the Ticketek website – Darkfield Radio’s ‘Visitors’.