30 May Ready for Take Off
The popularity of immersive experiences is growing as audiences look for new and innovative forms of entertainment. One area that is perfect for immersion is theatre. As live performance evolves, the medium has used this concept to its advantage with a variety of shows being produced that engage and delight attendees with exciting and surprising elements. Pitchblack is one such company that creates theatrical experiences in a totally transformative way: complete darkness.
Their debut endeavor is an impressive collaboration between the American off-Broadway company theatreC and Argentinian company Teatro Ciego, a theatre troupe that features blind actors.
The show, Odd Man Out, was originally slated to open in New York in November 2020, but with the coronavirus shut-down, the team quickly changed course and created an ingenious home version of the production available for purchase online.
The plot of the play focuses on an old man flying back to his native Buenos Aires, recounting a life in New York as a musician to his seat mates. When he arrives in his home city, he discovers the results of his younger life.
The presentation of the play is extremely well done and thoughtfully executed. A beautifully wrapped box arrives via the post and includes everything you need to experience the piece—only a cell phone is required for listening to the dialogue.
The various sensory elements—food to taste, the ocean to smell, words to hear—are imaginative and the detailed sound quality is phenomenal.
The direction, talented voice cast and production values are outstanding and I thoroughly enjoyed the play.
For a completely new way of participating in an evening of theatre, Pitchblack’s Odd Man Out is a fun experiment as you rely on other senses to take you through the story. And it reminds us of the simple pleasure of meeting a stranger on a plane and sharing in a private heart-to-heart.
And by the end, total darkness is completely illuminated.