They are clever wee goblins at making you think that you’ve experienced something that you haven’t, and with their smart use of binaural sound they worm right inside your head. For the duration of their shows they can drive you a little mad, make you delusional.
Available via the Darkfield Radio app, David Rosenberg and Glen Neath’s latest piece, Visitors, is theatre’s equivalent of a shiver down the spine or someone walking over your grave. Designed as an experience for two people at a time, it lasts a bare 20 minutes but may leave lingering nightmares.
The company’s last piece, Double, was inspired by Capgras Syndrome, a condition in which the sufferer believes that much-loved family members or friends are being replaced by identical-looking imposters. But it operated by playing on all our fears that the people we love most, and who we are most intimate with, can sometimes seem like complete strangers.
Stranger danger plays a role in Visitors too, a piece which might – or might not – have its origins in Cotard Delusion which makes suffers believe that they are dead, but which certainly borrows from Vampire movies and ghost stories. It also plays neatly on our current sense of isolation and the way we hold strangers at a distance because of Covid-19 so we are all starved of touch. Does it turn us all, to some degree, into walking corpses, like the dead unable to touch and feel?
I never think it’s a negative when meaning is elusive or wide open to interpretation, and the experience is certainly spooky from the flat, numb voices of your visitors to the way it suddenly feels as if there are extra people in the room or someone is leaning right over your shoulder and whispering in your ear. The effect is to make you want to lock the doors and turn the lights full on. And hug the living tight.