Knot: The Trilogy @ Summerhall Online
Darkfield's confusing immersive audio experience has listeners tied up in knots
Knot, an immersive listening experience by Darkfield radio, received rave reviews prior to its release as part of this year's online Fringe. Taking part in the experience, however, falls sorely short of expectation.
The audience are required to download the Darkfield App and listen to the show at three different locations across three hours, which makes for an interesting premise. Beginning on a park bench, it certainly feels like a unique listening experience – but this is where the excitement peaks. The experience then takes a confusing and unnerving turn with the audience never truly gaining an understanding of what is going on.
The first part of Knot is narrated by a female voice, belonging to somebody who seemingly has no idea where she is, who she is or what is happening. While this disorentiating aspect of the experience surely aims to draw the listener in, it ultimately leaves you sitting on a park bench confused and alone, while the joyful camaraderie of the Fringe buzzes all around you.
The second installment takes place in a car, with two voices guiding the listener through the scene. Again, there are interesting elements at play – the sense of isolation mounts and the audio performances certainly create an atmosphere of fear. But in terms of plot, there is still no real explanation about what is going on or why these two scenes are connected other than the characters having brief encounters with one another. The listener is once again left with no closer resolution in sight.
Spoiler alert ahead: the real nail in the coffin for this show is the final installment, which sees the characters from the previous two sections come together. It seems like questions will be answered, and the audience will finally be given some resolution. Instead, the listener is brought into a room where the characters exclaim that they themselves have no memory of what they have engaged in over the past three hours. A brutal murder is revealed, but this doesn't advance the plot in any way – it merely adds shock factor. It's an unnecessarily violent end to an already disappointing piece.
Run ended; darkfield.org/radio