There’s a big black box in the courtyard of Summerhall, neon letters reading SIN affixed to its front. This is the location of the immersive, interactive Without Sin.  

It is one of those pesky productions that is tricky to review without giving too much away. If you don’t want any spoilers, don’t read on but know that this reviewer cried twice in 20 minutes while talking to a stranger but emerged at the end, reminded that people are magical.

If you’d like to know what you’re getting – you’ll be paired with a stranger. If you don’t like people you don’t know, you could go with a mate but you won’t get the full Blanche Dubois ‘depending on the kindness of strangers’ effect. The other warning is for those with claustrophobia. The show starts. You’re ushered into a compact box within the main box and asked to shut the door behind you. After a brief introduction, you’re plunged into darkness. And the experience begins.

This is a beautifully executed idea from Unqualified Design Studio. Inside, each person is adjacent to their paired participant. Instructions are delivered via headphones and then you’re left to chat to your fellow sinner. The chat is carefully orchestrated via elegant black cards, themed by deadly sin, but the cleverness in the construct is the you’re probably expecting a confessional. Some of the questions take you there. Others recognise the bumps, scrapes and war wounds we pick up as we potter through life. And others recognise the things we love in ourselves, in other people, in the world around us.

There’s something stupidly breath-taking about hearing a perfect stranger tell you their darkest secrets; about confessing your excruciating shame to someone who isn’t there to judge but only acknowledge and maybe understand. The final ask demonstrates unwavering faith in our individual capacity for kindness. Take a hanky, plunder the dark depths of your mind, remember that only the sin-less can cast stones and prepare for a twenty minute reminder that people can be infinitely wise and wonderful. And forgiveness is good.