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Going Dark

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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You enter a pitch black auditorium with a no bags rule, softly spoken ushers and very little visual awareness of the auditorium. Before the play has even begun, Going Dark is an experience.

The story revolves around the life of Max and his six-year-old son, Leo. Max is an astrology lecturer and spends much of the play talking clearly and peacefully about the cosmos. It's clear that he derives a lot of solace from his occupation, and it is this feeling that dominates the play. Sitting in very dim seats, the audience is guided across a planetarium ceiling of the more simple astrological arrangements, being softly reminded of space and our position within it.

A one-man show, perhaps the most charming feature is Leo, present in the form of a clever voiceover that has the intonations of a six-year-old down to the finest detail. The story between father and son is equally charming, weaving Max’s own boyhood with his position as a parent and the overhanging threat of life’s limitations.

Gently funny, the play meanders through its 75-minute run. The facts aren’t as hitting as they could be; they are closer to initial science lessons than keen adult curiosity, but this chimes with the tempo of the story. It’s not scene-changing theatre, but for an evening of unobtrusive entertainment, this latest immersive offering from Sound&Fury (the company behind Kursk) is lovely.

- Jessica Frith


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