Review: “DOUBLE” by DARKFIELD RADIO

Copy of DARKFIELD RADIO_Windows_Credit Alex Purcell
(image credit: Alex Purcell. Image supplied by Realscape Productions)

In the current conditions (especially within Melbourne) where audiences can’t go out to attend shows, innovative producers and companies are increasingly bringing shows to audiences and consumers (and into their homes). One such example is the immersive audio experience “DOUBLE” , the first broadcast on DARKFIELD RADIO – jointly presented by Realscape Productions and DARKFIELD. If the name DARKFIELD rings a bell, you may be familiar with their ‘shipping container’ style productions that have popped up in various cities: SEANCE, FLIGHT and COMA.

Being a bit of a horror / creepy story buff myself I was excited to be able to review “DOUBLE” (with the help of my partner – after all, it’s an audio experience for 2 people). Think you have nerves of steel? Well, read on for a glimpse of what this audio experience is all about.

“DOUBLE” takes place with each person sitting opposite each other at a kitchen table. We both have our mobiles ready, each with our own set of headphones in. We look at each other and nervously smile while the audio track begins to play…..and then we close our eyes. I can best describe this audio experience as being part radio play (echoing “War of the Worlds” but scaled down with a different theme exploring the Capgras delusion) and partly delving into the audience members’ psyche / beliefs / emotions via a killer audio track. Frequently, the lined are blurred between the audio track sounds and the storyline / characters. Ultimately, this meant that my mind eventually did not know if the sounds I was hearing were from happenings in real world suburbia or if they were part of the audio track. At the very least, this would be perturbing but given the theme and sounds, that was dialled up in my head to being extremely unnerving. During the experience, the sounds rattled me and I wished that I was able to swivel my head around to see if anyone was behind me. I had the urge to do this multiple times and that creepy feeling did not leave me, even after the 20 minute audio experience had ended.

Similar to the effects of a horror movie, this experience left my pulse was racing and my hands sweaty and clammy. Powerful stuff, given that what I was ‘seeing’ was via my imagination deriving / taking inspiration from the audio suggestions and sounds. Though I haven’t seen any previous productions (SEANCE / FLIGHT / COMA) I would wager that the fact this experience happens in your own home – a large source of comfort and respite, especially during these times – makes it all the more panic inducing, especially when lines are seemingly blurred between this world and the world experienced via this audio experience. It made me think that reality is an illusion.

It is possible that different listeners gather a slightly different experience from this dark audio adventure, and how immersive it is is up to you. While I was rattled by an ominous, pervasive belief that my partner and I were no longer alone together in our house (a belief that my mind would not shake for the entire 20 minutes), my partner followed the course through to the end (unshaken and with limited outcomes).

A worthwhile experience for both of us – I would not have expected an audio experience to conjure such strong beliefs and feelings and for my body to react as if I was watching a horror movie on a screen – which is testament to its power. Post experience, it also generated a hearty discussion between my partner and I, which we wouldn’t have had otherwise.

VERDICT: “DOUBLE” is a dark audio experience that is unsettling and intriguing. It will have your pulse racing and will leave you questioning you own reality.

Trigger warnings: domestic violence, exploration of the Capgras delusion, paranoia.

*Disclaimer: we attending this audio experience as guests of Realscape Productions.

Tickets and more information: https://www.darkfield.com.au/radio

Check out Darkfield Australia on social media: https://www.facebook.com/DarkfieldAU/

Copy of DARKFIELD RADIO _ Antenna - Credit Alex Purcell
(image credit: Alex Purcell. Image supplied by Realscape Productions)

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