John Robertson – The Dark Room: Symphony of a Floating Head 5***** - One4Review
one4review | On 27, Aug 2015
I saw this show last year, and liked it so much (for which read ‘was brainwashed into the cult’) that I saw it again this year. I have zero desire to be Darren and actually play the game; I went solely for the performance. John Robertson delivers an excellent performance.
Having seen him do this and some other things, I have come to the conclusion that while his material is good, it’s the voice and the presence that makes it. That and his extraordinary facility for taking one tiny thing from the audience and spinning it into clouds of funny, and, in this show particularly, his ability to make it all about him. This is especially good for Darrens who really don’t want to be in the spotlight: no one’s watching the Darren because John’s being expansive and funny.
For the as-yet-uninitiated, the show is a live-action version of a text-based adventure game. The computer (John’s disembodied head in this case) sets a scenario, and an audience member (Darren) chooses from the available options and tries not to die. The audience is encouraged to join in with the recurring lines, and various different ways of selecting participants, and John, keep it fresh and interesting.
No-one won the night I saw it, but who cares? It’s dark and funny and utterly silly. And possibly slightly addictive.
Reviewed by Laura
Underbelly Cowgate, 20:40