Person sitting in a metal cage in a shipping container

Shakespeare’s Hamlet famously says he could be bounded in a nutshell but count himself king of infinite space, were it not that he has bad dreams.

Darkfield has taken that sentiment to heart and swapped the nutshell for a shipping container for their surreal and seductive audio performance piece Eulogy.

Housed in a shipping container – for its Norwich performances sited outside the city’s Forum venue – the audience, or rather participants, are seated in two rows of wire laundry cages with a pillow and a pair of headphones each.

The concept is that guests are being welcomed to a slightly unsettling hotel. Once you settle in, the lights go out leaving you in absolute darkness, with just the cleverly curated soundscape to keep you company.

A shipping container being winched into position in front of The Forum building in Norwich
Darkfield’s Eulogy arrives in Norwich – Photo: Norwich Theatre

You are guided by a whispering voice that asks you a series of questions – some of which alter your experience of the story – and who encourages you to rest your weary eyes and sleep. Each imagined slumber takes you deeper into the strange hotel and the story.

Using just the headset the production conjures people walking down the central corridor, journeys in a lift, visits to restaurants and restrooms, and some much more unsettling experiences. The 3D audio is incredibly powerful, making you question what is going on around you, what is real and what is not.

It’s a stunning use of technology to create a new form of storytelling, with the underlying narrative a quirky and disturbing one: a sort of Black Mirror hotel.

In this case there is nothing good or bad, but hearing makes it so – I’d say it’s definitely worth a listen.

  • Darkfield’s Eulogy continues outside The Forum, Norwich until March 26, 2003. Booking is via Norwich Theatre.