DOUBLE – A Darkfield Radio Experience

DARKFIELD Radio | NZ, Global

01/09/2020 - 29/09/2020

Production Details


As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the arts industry across the globe, innovative UK company Darkfield are launching in New Zealand with their visionary new audio experience DOUBLE, opening Tuesday 1 September. Brought to Aotearoa by Australia’s Realscape Productions, DOUBLE will allow Kiwis to take part in a critically-acclaimed, chilling, and immersive encounter within their bubbles, regardless of the country’s COVID alert level status.   

“…unsettling audio that turns your home into a sci-fi dystopia” ★★★★ The Guardian (on Double)

All you need is a mobile device, headphones – and a friend…

Audiences will sit opposite each other on either side of a kitchen table. Pairs of participants will be replicated in hundreds of rooms across Aotearoa, listening to a simultaneous broadcast over 20 minutes. There is only one rule: everyone has to be who they say they are.

DOUBLE is the first show from the Darkfield Radio branch, a groundbreaking new project which brings the company’s inventive audio centered shows to audiences at home. Internationally acclaimed, DOUBLE is the first ever audio-only experience to be part of the official selection for the Venice International Film Festival. Selected as part of the 2020 ‘Venice VR Expanded’ category, DOUBLE will be showcased worldwide, making history as the world adapts to cross-genre interactive events that can be accessed from anywhere. 

Part of the magic of DOUBLE is the ability for Darkfield Radio to deliver a powerfully riveting experience with just a pair of regular headphones, a mobile phone, and a kitchen table, situating each audience member at the centre of an intense evolving narrative. Sitting at the intersections of technology and theatre, the hallmark of all Darkfield creations is the use of 360-degree binaural (3D) sound to manipulate the audience’s sense of reality, with the impressive design creating an atmosphere that perplexes the senses and casts doubt from inside your own house. Tapping into psychology and the very nature of the human condition, Darkfield works are able to transport their audiences – without needing to go anywhere. 

“If you’ve never experienced one of Darkfield’s shows, absolutely go: it is technically astonishing, completely uncanny, and deeply unnerving. You start to question your own senses. You may start to feel a rising panic. It’s not for faint-hearted.”  The Independent (on Coma

DOUBLE explores the Capgras delusion, a condition in which the sufferer is convinced that a loved one has been replaced by an exact replica with malign intentions. DOUBLE blurs the lines of what is real and what is imagined, following the themes of Darkfield’s previous shows which explored ideas around drug placebos, the multiverse and the unknown beyond the veil. 

Darkfield’s three shipping container based shows – Séance, Coma, and Flight – have been critically acclaimed in every centre they have toured to, including winning a 2020 Adelaide Fringe Weekly Award (for Coma), all noted for their sensory storytelling and incredibly immersive sound design. Welcoming over 160,000 audience members worldwide with tours in the UK, USA, Australia and Mexico, including three sold-out Edinburgh Festival runs, Darkfield Radio was the logical next step for UK Creators David Rosenberg and Glen Neath. These web-based sonic interactions allow more people around the globe to experience the chilling magic of Darkfield’s creativity – including audiences in Aotearoa for the very first time. 

DOUBLE opens Tuesday 1 September and is available until Tuesday 29 September 2020.
8:00pm | 10:00pm | 11:30pm NZT
Tickets are available via the Darkfield website from Thursday 27 August 2020
Price: $10 

Over-ear headphones are recommended for the best experience. 
Recommended 15+, trigger warnings for domestic violence and Capgras Delusion  

Theatre , Audio (podcast) ,

“I was crawling out of my skin”

Review by Deborah Eve Rea 28th Aug 2020

At 9.25pm my partner and I sit opposite each other at our dining room table and watch the time tick down on our Darkfield Radio app – downloaded earlier that day. We are commanded by an alarm that our ‘event’ is starting and diligently don our headphones.

The experience begins with a series of instructions: go to your kitchen, take a glass of water, sit back at the table opposite your partner, place the glass on your right side.  

What follows is a masterclass of prickly sound design composed to unsettle nerves and twist the psyche. The classic horror movie soundscape tropes are all there but so excellently executed for the storytelling that I begin to doubt my own mind and senses. Was that crash on the broadcast or actually in my house? Am I safe at home or could there be someone with us?

DOUBLE takes you into the mind of a person experiencing Capgras Delusion, a condition where one believes a loved one has been replaced by an exact duplicate and they can only be returned when the imposter has been murdered.  

Sitting opposite my partner, eyes closed, I begin to wonder if they are receiving the same broadcast. Are they being told something I am not to know? Are they making any of these sounds around me in order to frighten me?

At just 20 minutes long for the entire broadcast, DOUBLE feels like just a taste – or an experiment perhaps. I wouldn’t want to sit in the discomfort that DOUBLE generates for any longer but I am left wanting something more. Perhaps, because of the instructed set up in the beginning, I was expecting further assignments. What is this glass of water for? Why is it on the right hand side?

DOUBLE does not offer a concluded story, rather we are invited to listen into a moment in the character’s world.

I’m a big fan of narrative that doesn’t follow the traditional path and that which leaves the audience to do the weaving. For these reasons I generally skip reading any show information until I’ve experienced it. In DOUBLE’s case I do have to do some googling afterwards to find a thread with which to start piecing things together.

How immersive the experience becomes would be up to the listener. While I was crawling out of my skin, my partner reports back feeling indifferent and unaffected.

A day later I’m still pondering over DOUBLE and experiencing the odd prong of prickled senses. 


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