‘I hope this is over soon,’ ‘keep your shit together’, and ‘get me out of here’ were my main abiding thoughts during Glen Neath & David Rosenberg: Seance. These are the exact same thoughts that I had recently when watching the Peppa Pig Live Show. But I really enjoyed and was affected by Seance. Peppa Pig – not so much.
Enjoyed is probably the wrong word; as from the second I entered the shipping container performance space with my fellow dozen audience members, I had to fight the urge to scream ‘let me out’.
Once inside the container, we were instructed to take a seat at a dining table and to put on a pair of headphones. Sitting opposite one another, we exchanged nervous smiles before the lights were cut and we were plunged into complete darkness. What follows is an incredibly creepy, intense and unsettling 15 minute show, which is conducted through sound only.
Photo credit: glenneath.co.uk
It is hard to describe what happens next… The medium of the Seance tells us to keep our hands firmly on the table no matter what; he whispers to audience members; stalks up and down the table; keep your hands on the table; summons a demon or did he mean to dispel it; questions us as to whether we believe; the demon arrives; keep your hands on the table; audience members are made to lie on the table; the demon’s breathing is getting closer; the entire place is vibrating now; KEEP YOUR HANDS ON THE TABLE…
And it’s over. Phew!!!
This is one immersive audio experience. I don’t think any of the above actually happened. Okay I knew at the time that a demon wasn’t really there – obvs! But I was pretty convinced that people were getting out their seats and lying on the table and that the medium was speaking directly to me at points (I answered him on a number of occasions) and that keeping my hands on the table was pertinent to everyone’s safety. But really, none of this happened right? I was just listening to a meticulously devised recording.
This is the third project that writers and theatre-makers, Glen Neath and David Rosenberg, have collaborated on. I love the quote that have use as a descriptor for the show:
‘The most important thing in this world is the destruction of superstition. Superstition interferes with the happiness of mankind. Superstition is a terrible serpent, reaching in frightful coils from heaven to earth and thrusting its poisoned fangs into the hearts of men. While I live, I am going to do what little I can for the destruction of this monster’ – Robert Green Ingersoll (1886)