The Dark Room for Kids

The Dark Room is both a literal and moral description. We're all trapped in a gory text-based adventure game, and have to work together to try and make it out alive. Unlikely. Every decision made by an audience volunteer leads to a chain of grizzly consequences until they are inevitably killed off, and we are sent back to the start. All this is controlled by the platinum-haired Skeletor (John Robertson) who shouts a mix of scripted and improvised abuse at the foolish audience players.

If you are a parent looking for a family friendly show, you should be aware that there is no safe script here

At its best, the atmosphere Skeletor creates is deliciously dangerous. The game itself is a brilliant idea, and means that he gets away with not executing it particularly well. Within the format, there are minigames which are fun and inventive, such as slaughtering a pink inflatable flamingo or choosing an audience member with his finger as a shadow puppet. But on the whole, Robertson substitutes humour and dexterity for loudness.

The age recommendation is for 12+, but despite the title, this cannot honestly be called a kids show. It's fundamentally the same as the adult show, with all its swearing, violence, innuendos, and lack of hope. There may be with a few arbitrary nods to ‘youth culture’ in the prizes, but being able to win a One Direction hairbrush doesn't mean this is catered to young audience members. Robertson seems to get off on screaming ‘bullshit’ in the faces of children. The title appears to be little more than an excuse to have an earlier time slot.

However, that doesn't mean kids won't enjoy it. On the day I saw, the children revelled in Skeletor’s rambunctious cussing, gasped with delight when he insulted parents, became frenzied when joining in with the chants. The game format works well for different ages to interact with, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the younger players figure out the tricks much quicker than adults. I'm not at all surprised many wanted to buy the t-shirts with ‘ya die, ya die, ya die!’ written on afterwards.

If you are a parent looking for a family friendly show, you should be aware that there is no safe script here. That might be a good thing for you, and it will certainly give you a memorable experience unlike the more standard kids shows out there. Just don't go if you don't want to be shouted at about divorce, decapitation, or Russian dictators (yes, really). 

Reviews by Lily Lindon

Assembly George Square Theatre

David O'Doherty: Big Time

★★★★
Roundabout @ Summerhall

Scorch

★★★★
Underbelly, George Square

Fleabag

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Kiri Pritchard-McLean: Appropriate Adult

★★★★
Underbelly Med Quad

Joan

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

You and your family are stuck inside a live-action video game! How will you escape?! Pick options off the screen in this fun, fear-filled interactive adventure. Will you: A) Find light switch? B) Scream? C) Kick a Pokemon? If you win, there are terrible prizes! But if you lose, The Dark Room keeps whichever of your parents you like less. With over 4M YouTube hits and sell-out shows worldwide, this is a bonkers game show for families featuring challenges, danger and jokes about Minecraft (unless they threaten to sue). Can you escape the Dark Room?

Most Popular See More

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Grease the Musical

From £20.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets