​The Dark Room for Kids

"You head in the direction you believe to be north. How can you be sure, you're in a dark room?"

​The Dark Room for Kids

Last year I reviewed the Dark Room and absolutely loved it. The dark atmosphere, the niche 80s gaming and culture references, I should have been too young to understand, and as a sadistic game-master, willing to rip into you mercilessly for screwing up.

There was everything to love about the show, but at no point did I ever think "this would work great with children". I don't think anybody else did either.

That's why we sit in the audience and Robertson is on stage, because he believed it could work, and it does.

Everything I wrote in my review last year is still applicable now. The only difference is that Robertson manages to refrain from swearing a little bit. Not completely mind, one 'bullshit' slipped through the filter without him realising, although the audiences hardly minded.

What I found most surprising was that kids absolutely eat this stuff up. They love the video game references, they love the facade of control, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, they love all the tat they win for being participants. It's also an interesting thought experiment to see just how quickly they all turn on their fellow audience members when they screw up, or when the decision as to let someone live or die arises.

Everything there was to love about the adult version of the Dark Room is still here, but the unpredictability of drunken adults has been replaced with the naive brutality of children.

Take your offspring and watch perhaps the most family friendly show John Robertson is likely to produce, especially if Dominant is anything to go by…

For tickets and more information visit the Ed Fringe website.


Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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