Flight: A Journey in Complete Darkness
During Fringe World this year, at Perth Cultural Centre, sat a white shipping container. Inside, it was decked out to replicate a commercial passenger plane. Passengers were handed boarding passes as they shuffled into the cramped cabin. Once they’d taken their seats and adjusted their headsets, a flight attendant welcomed everyone aboard via the overhead speaker.
It’s a familiar scene. But as the muffled inflight announcements became increasingly more disturbing, it became apparent the plane might not land safely. The grumbling sound of turbulence reverberated through the cabin. And then the lights went out.
This is Flight, an unsettling performance from UK immersive-theatre company Darkfield, the team behind Séance. After its debut season at Edinburgh Fringe in 2018, creator David Rosenberg, in collaboration with Australia’s Realscape Productions, took the experience to Adelaide and then Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth. Now it's coming back to WA – this time to Mandurah in Flight's first regional Australian show.
Like Séance before it, Flight takes place in complete darkness and inside a shipping container. But this time the creators tap into a universal fear: being 30,000 feet above ground and powerless.
For the audience, that fear is amplified by sensory deprivation (the cabin is plunged into total darkness) and binaural sound recordings (3D audio transmitted directly to each audience member). Throughout the flight unnerving creaks, whispers, sounds of children crying and phones ringing play out on the periphery. With the absence of visuals these sounds take on lives of their own, and audience members are never sure of what they’re experiencing for real.
Those looking for a taste of what to expect before December, can tune in to Darkfield Radio, a series of audio encounters designed to be experienced at home.