John Robertson: The Dark Room 5***** - One4Review
one4review | On 22, Aug 2014
I had a mild panic during the explanation of the rules that participation would be compulsory and that I wouldn’t have a clue what to do. There are three reasons this was unnecessary. Firstly, participation is (except in one instance) voluntary. Second, once you see someone else playing the game, it makes much more sense (and is easy – though not easy to win). Lastly, Mr Robertson has such huge presence that, irrespective of which hapless Darren is trying his luck, the attention is all on him.
The show is a live-action version of a text-based game (this particular one invented by Mr Robertson), like the very first ones which were produced for DOS systems. No, I’m not quite sure what that means either, but it really didn’t make a difference. The interface is intuitive, and the process logical, though the results don’t often seem so. There’s one big screen with a maximum of four options, and the audience-member-player shouts out which one they want in response to John’s set up and question.
It’s amazingly good fun, not least because of how incredibly well Robertson works with what the audience gives him. Its impressive because he knows what follows every individual option, and has this impenetrable game in his head. And there are prizes for those brave enough to try, but fail. Super-fun (and probably addictive).
Reviewed by Laura
Underbelly Cowgate, 20:40