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“A Rocky Horror for gamers… reader, I howled” Telegraph, London


1. The Dark Room is the world’s only live-action videogame.

And definitely the only live-action videogame to become an actual videogame, 
a touring live show, and a streaming sensation notorious for its anarchic
50 hour marathon charity shows.

“NOT TO BE MISSED” The Guardian

2. Interactive and insane, this is improv comedy + retro gaming
fused into a deranged heavy metal game show.

★★★★★ “Everyone should see The Dark Room at least once in their lives… one of the best and most enjoyable evenings you can have” Scottish Sun

3. Here’s what John said in VICE Magazine and Starburst.

4. Touring since 2012, The Dark Room has appeared to crowds ranging from 50 – 3000 people at Glastonbury, Insomnia Gaming Festival, PAX Australia, PAX Online, UK Games Expo, EGX, MCM, Soho Theatre and sold out repeatedly at the Edinburgh Fringe.

5. The Dark Room has streamed to hundreds of thousands of people on Twitch global front page and raised over £150,000 for charities around the world.



The audience is trapped inside a live-action videogame
with a sadistic end-of-level boss!

Audience members pick options off the screen while trying to escape a dark room full of deathtraps and insane comedy puzzles.

If you win – you get money.
If you fail – YA DIE and win terrible prizes.

Will you:
A. Find Light Switch?
B. Die?
C. Go North
D. Gee option B looks good

In the end, everybody plays!

Add audience interaction, over 500 different screens (about 2000 different options), weird expansion game The Dark Lighthouse and more chanting than you get at a football match and we’re about halfway to describing what a live The Dark Room show is like!

Come see The Dark Room live!
Catch livestreams on Twitch!
And VODs on YouTube



The Dark Room started life as a 5 minute comedy routine about how crap videogames were in the 1980s.

In January 2012, John did that routine as part of a solo show in a 3000 seat theatre at an anime convention called Wai-Con in Perth, Western Australia. The crowd, being delightful nerds,
started playing along with a game that didn’t exist.



The Dark Room quickly became an interactive YouTube game, racking up a then-impressive 500,000 views and being featured on NPR, in Variety Magazine, on French TV courtesy of Canal+ and news stories in the American midwest.It was nominated for the Best Casual Game Of The Year 2012.

“This is the future of online gaming” – Ron Gilbert, creator of Monkey Island

“I just want to punch this guy in the face!” – U.S news anchor, name forgotten


In August 2012, The Dark Room debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival.
Combining a screen, $5 of electronics, an innovative multimedia rig and John Robertson’s manic flair for improvisation and abuse, it was THE cult hit of the Fringe, creating an exhilarating, incredible world of fun, fear, Flamboyant Potatoes, nostalgia and terrible prizes.

This is a live comedy the whole audience doesn’t just watch… it plays!

Since 2012, the show has grown into a touring production that’s been staged at rock festivals, corporate events, gaming and sci-fi expos, Fringe and Comedy festivals and toured the UK, Europe, Australia and South-East Asia.


In 2014, The Dark Room was streamed on Twitch for a one-off special on the GINX TV channel, garnering 250,000 players over a four-hour marathon show.

During the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020, John embraced Twitch as a new way to make interactive art, and The Dark Room became an integral part of his daily streams. There’s even a wiki about the channel!


In 2020, 2021 and 2022 The Dark Room went several steps further on Twitch, when John and an army of friends streamed the show for between 48 and 50 hours in three incredible marathons for various charities.
Showcased on Twitch global front page, the 148 hours of content raise a lot of money for good causes and only mildly nearly killed everyone involved.


The Dark Room has appeared in front of audiences ranging from high hundreds to acceptable thousands at Glastonbury, Insomnia Gaming Festival, Runefest, Soho Theatre, UK Games Expo, Sci-Fi Weekender, PAX Australia, Blue Dot, EB Games Expo Australia, 2000 Trees, PAX Online, Wai-Con, MCM Comic-Con, Play Expo Manchester, London Film & Comic Con, Birmingham Mac, the Frog & Bucket Manchester, The Projector Singapore, Helldorado Festival, Bristol’s Colston Hall, Underbelly Festival London, Magners International Comedy Festival, Oxford Old Fire Station, Perth International Comedy Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Adelaide Fringe, Fringeworld, Brighton Fringe, tour shows in Phnom Penh, Bangkok, Berlin, Eindhoven, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Manila and since 2012, has had 11 runs at the Edinburgh Fringe!

There’s also a child-friendly(ish) version, which took home Best Kid’s Show at Leicester Comedy Festival 2018!

Special Guests

The Dark Room has been visited by some incredible comedians, celebrities, voice actors, wrestlers, musicians and streamers, including: Doug Cockle (The Witcher), Kyle Hebert (Dragonball Z), Kiwo, DAGames, Knightenator, Mousie, RageDarling, Octavius King, Tristabytes, Billietrixx, Mark Watson, JoJo Bellini, Hannibal Buress, Jhonen Vasquez (Invader Zim), The Umbilical Brothers, Adrian Stout (Tiger Lillies), Brendon Burns, Colt Cabana, JoshStrifeHayes, Sam See, The Meredith Brothers, Mike McShane (Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves), Rosie Holt, Sooz Kempner and many, many more.

No two shows are the same. No other show is the same.



On September 20th, 2018 – The Dark Room finally became an actual videogame, with level one launching on Steam Early Access for PC and Mac.
John hopes to be able to finish making the game one day, since indie game development seems to be a weird obstacle course made of slippery eels that are all on fire and the fire has a deadline.



Best Comedy Weekly Award Fringeworld 2023
PerthNow Critic’s Choice Weekly Award Fringeworld 2023
Runner-Up NextUP Biggest Prize In Comedy 2022
Chortle Legend Of Lockdown 2020
Master Act, SFW Awards 2019
Best Kid’s Show, Leicester Comedy Festival 2018 (for The Dark Room For Kids)
ThreeWeek’s Editor’s Choice, EdFringe 2016
Argus Angel, Brighton Fringe 2014
Director’s Choice, Bedford Fringe 2014
Best of the Fest, Wild West Comedy Festival 2011

Best Comedy, Fringeworld 2023
NextUp Biggest Prize In Comedy 2022
Best Comedy, Fringeworld 2018
Best Local Comedy, Fringeworld 2017

☆☆☆☆☆ Fringe Review ☆☆☆☆☆ ThreeWeeks ☆☆☆☆☆ The Skinny ☆☆☆☆☆ One4Review ☆☆☆☆☆ Broadway Baby ☆☆☆☆☆ FringeGuru ☆☆☆☆1/2 ☆☆☆☆ The Stage ☆☆☆☆ Den of Geek
☆☆☆☆ The Age ☆☆☆☆ Herald Sun ☆☆☆☆ The List
☆☆☆☆ Edinburgh Spotlight ☆☆☆☆ Edinburgh Review ☆☆☆☆ Chortle
☆☆☆☆ The Telegraph ☆☆☆☆ The Age ☆☆☆☆☆ Scottish Sun

“NOT TO BE MISSED” (Guardian)

“A real blast from the past with one crooked eye on the future, this is a truly unique show you’ll be gutted to miss out on.” (Manchester Wire)

“a hilarious YouTube skit made flesh… that he’s a skilled stand-up performer is plain to see; he just happens to have lucked out channeling a subject he obviously loves into the live arena” (The List)

“What a marvelous, maddening concept this is from the twisted mind of John Robertson… if Kafka were to write a comedy show, this would be it.” (Chortle)

“Watching audience members tackle the challenge and fail is one of the funniest sights around, don’t miss it.” (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)

“24 hours ago I’d never heard of John Robertson, now I can’t get his voice out of my head.” (

“The Cloak Room at Melbourne Town Hall was packed, which means the crowd had either seen it before or heard how good it was. It’s terrific: inspired, wacky and Robertson, on occasions, sounds just a little sinister. And then the lights go up and he’s outside, shaking hands, thanking each of us for coming. What a gentleman! Who’d have thought such a dark, twisted mind lurked beneath this mild-mannered exterior…” (Herald Sun)

“Say goodbye to this morning’s work plans” (Eurogamer)

Time Out Top 100 Edinburgh Fringe Shows 2014,
The List’s Top 5 Scary Shows Edinburgh Fringe 2013



Want a show where John will customise the content for your event?
The Dark Room’s map can be altered to include levels based on your co-workers, friends, enemies – anything you want!
Click the button and talk to the man himself!

Book A Bespoke Show!