The Dark Room (Fringe 2017)

Dark, Immersive Joy

I wanted to experience something immersive at Fringe. While the VR experiences seemed somewhat interesting, reviews indicated that the enjoyment came from the aesthetics rather than the show’s content. So I decided to take a step backwards: a metaphorical step to the seventies where VR was merely a dream and text-based adventure games ruled.

The Dark Room has a simple premise: audience members are challenged to take on the text-based adventure game The Dark Room. If you win, you get £1,000 cash. If you lose: “YOU DIE! YOU DIE! YOU DIE! YOU DIE! YOU DIE!” There’s something beautifully sinister about an audience gleefully celebrating your demise.

The game itself is playful, yet devilishly difficult, as death lurks around every corner. What breathes life into the whole production, however, is John Robertson’s superb performance as your guide through The Dark Room. His stage presence does not fail to excite the audience, berating players from their choices, and rewarding their efforts with presents like inflatable flamingos and the odd spiky potato.

The Dark Room has received worldwide success, and I’m not surprised. This fiendishly funny production makes a community out of its audience, all vying to get through the task ahead. No one won the main prize on my night. Maybe you have what it takes? If you think you do, I invite you to challenge The Dark Room.

(5 / 5)