John Robertson: The Dark Room
Try it at home, on Youtube. The Dark Room nods to adventure games of the eighties, and is just as irritating. Robertson, wearing a headpiece composed of baby Duracell torches and a megadive controller, leads us through an interactive gig. We’re trying to find our way out of a dark room…
It’s a brilliant premise to bring a retro pastime to the stage, and the clunky on-screen graphics fit right in. There are enthusiastic factions in the audience, crowing for the next go as the rest look on, and the overall aim is to have a room full of like-minded people working in unison to a successful conclusion. But this gets a little staid, as each finds a similar route to the pixelated ‘game over’ screen.
Robertson hosts the show well, taking on a persona like a slimline Brian Blessed. Bellowing each option and mocking answers, he does draw some laughs. However, the best lines are delivered out of character, as he describes playing adventure games growing up, the frustration it’s caused abroad, and the hate mail he’s received since the game’s inception. Alas, these can't be developed as the time is instead freed for another plucky contestant to take his turn in the infernal room.