Diary of a Deceased by Faceless Ventures was stunning. It was a beautiful mix of theatre and scare. It was a hauntingly emotional experience and one that I will hold onto for a very long time. I have to give a bit of a background into the story before i go on, and at the time, this was all i knew about it. It revolved around a diary of John Doe and what this John Doe had written in the diary. All but four pages had been ripped out, so the story would evolve around those four pages. And that’s all I knew. I had no idea what we would see, hear or experience.
So, our group of 4 walked down some stairs and waited in a morgue, as we had been instructed. A nurse was waiting there who just stood and stared intensely at us. She built a heavy, creepy atmosphere. In her hands was a diary. She started to speak in a soft and calm tone and started to explain how the diary came into her hands. She opened the first undamaged page and started to read.
A young boy comes along and takes the diary from her hands. We follow him and are transported back to his childhood. This scene was led by this characters young self. He takes us to his den he gets one of us playing a game with him. This den was his safe place. The child begins to explain about the things outside and how they make noises. We then start to relive his night. He has night terrors and we see what he goes through every time he has one. Suddenly it went dark. The child suddenly asks “Do you hear noises in the dark?” We stated to hear the noises too. They were getting closer and closer, but we escape them to find ourselves back in the morgue.
With us being back in the morgue, the story then moves forward. We meet John’s girlfriend. She explains how the met. They met in America, where she was studying. She took my hand and led us into a room. In this room there was an American flag and some bunting. A large shadow watched over the American flag. She explained to us how she never didn’t believe John when he told her about the noises. Suddenly a speech began to play. It got louder and louder. Then the American national anthem started to play. Nightmarish creatures appeared from the darkness. They crept around us, tormenting us as they did. They got really into our personal space. It confused me. Suddenly some bright lights started flashing and it made the creatures look like they were moving in ways that weren’t normal. The shadow watching the flag left the room and suddenly everything returned to normal.
We then found ourselves back in the morgue. We are told to follow the voice. From a distance I couldn’t quite work out who it was, but the nearer I got, the clearer it became. I realized that it was Evanescence’s song My Immortal. We followed the voice and eventually we found John. He sat in front of us. His arms were facing towards the sky. His arms ere slashed. The shadow figure stood over him. The shadow was mourning. We are then warned to go away and escape, so head upstairs and leave.
I came away from this just in awe. It has been so hard to put into words what i experienced, so i really hope i did it some kind of justice. It was intense, haunting and just utterly beautiful. This production has set the bar very high for the future of immersive theatre as I was certainly moved to tears by it. I remember walking up the stairs wishing it hadn’t ended. I felt so many emotions throughout the experience. Truly amazing. Thank you to everyone involved. You did an amazing job and you deserve a ton of praise for this. Can’t wait for the future.