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Review: Eternal

Review: Eternal

Review: Eternal cover photo on Stagedoor
In theatre and literature, deals of any kind with any devil don’t tend to end well.

Think of Faust giving up his soul for knowledge and power, or Dorian Gray’s pact that ensures he retains his outer beauty whatever his inner corruption. But what would you give up if you could live forever? If there wasn’t just a vaccine for Covid-19 on the horizon, but a cure for death?

It’s the question at the heart of Eternal, the latest online offering from Darkfield Radio, the company whose clever mix of binaural sound and narrative has produced small classics including Visitors and Double, both of which are still available online. The pleasure is that co-creators David Rosenburg and Glen Neath are very smart at playing with human psychology and our fear of the dark, but they are always trying to make us think as much as they are trying to spook us. The shows are much more than simply the aural equivalent of a ghost train ride.

That’s not to say they don’t know how to make you jump out of your skin. There was a moment in Eternal, designed to be experienced on your own in the dark while lying on your bed listening through headphones, when I actually cried out loud in fear and surprise. Rosenburg and Neath know how to worm their way into your head and get under your skin. Eternal plays on the fears of those of us who always check under the bed before we settle down for the night, or who have toyed with the idea of living forever but are nervous about letting the right one in.

It captures that strange liminal state of being between sleep and wakefulness. It makes you doubt your own ears. Even the physical location of your own body. It makes you wonder what and who you can trust including the seductively suggestive voice whispering you your ear and encouraging you to open the door. Will you? Or won’t you?

Eternal is available online until Sat 12 Dec. You can book tickets here.

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Written by

Lyn Gardner

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