REVIEW: Seance | FRINGE WORLD

Seance
Saturday 3 Feb 2018
Noodle Palace at FRINGE WORLD

☆☆☆1/2

Confession: I am afraid of things that go bump in the night. And things that go bump just about anywhere, generally – I’m an extremely jumpy person. I also have a very active imagination, and can easily scare myself by watching a horror movie, even in the full light of day. So I was sure that I hadn’t properly mentally prepared myself for Seance; I was sure that I would embarrass myself in front of a couple dozen strangers by screaming and clutching onto some poor person’s arm throughout the show.

At 1pm on a hot Saturday afternoon at Elizabeth Quay, there’s barely a sliver of a shadow to be found anywhere, and therefore the atmosphere for a show like Seance is perhaps a bit counter-intuitive. To really get yourself worked up, night time seems like the right time to head into the dark unknown inside the Seance container. But most evening sessions are already sold out, so it wasn’t meant to be. We were advised there was aircon inside the container, but I’m guessing it had only just been turned on when we went in, because it was a bit stuffy. But I have no doubt that later in the day it would be comfy enough as the Quay starts too cool.

Once inside, we sat in two long rows either side of a long wooden plank and picked up the earphones hung to our left. Pendant lights hung above the length of the table, and once everyone was settled and the container doors closed, the lights came down. A man instructed us to put our hands on the table and never take them off, or we would let the spirits loose. Who would want that? I kept mine firmly pressed into the plastic tablecloth-covered wood right the way through.

I won’t be able to divulge any further events during the seance inside the container – it would be unfair of me to do so. I won’t even try to give any warnings or assurances to those who are as easily scared as I am, because Seance is best enjoyed with an open mind, and few clues about what to expect.

Was I scared? I’d say it was more like an apprehension, an anxiousness. My mind was so busy trying to put things together, follow the audio cues, and “see” in the complete darkness, that it perhaps lessened the sensation of fear. The audio plays tricks on your mind, and your mind creates visions in the absence of light. There are physical sensations too, but I’m unable to say with any certainty what exactly happened in there.

If you can manage to find a session that hasn’t sold out, Seance is a fun little diversion and good for a few nervous giggles with your mates. Suspend your disbelief for twenty minutes and give yourself a good scare.

CICELY BINFORD

Seance runs until 11 Feb at The Palace Society’s Noodle Palace at Elizabeth Quay. For tickets and more information, visit the event page here.

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