What happens when a haunted house and a dramaturg come together? A Midnight Visit is born.
A Midnight Visit transports you into an Edgar Allen Poe-inspired world called the House of Usher, where Poe’s characters, stories and general eeriness await as you move from room to room.
The immense scale and level of ambition of this production is clear from the moment you walk in the door and are greeted with a no-holds-barred funeral parlour. From there you’re taken into a two-storey gothic wonderland.
There is no over-arching narrative in this place. Instead, audiences are treated to self-contained performances that span monologue and dramatic readings, song and dance. Fine art is also given room to breath in the House of Usher, a sign creative producers Kirsten Siddle and Danielle Harvey are unafraid to be multidisciplinary in their approach to immersive theatre.
The commitment and passion of the performers is palpable as they perform up close to an unnerved audience, never toning down their delivery to make people feel comfortable. Even in one-on-one encounters (for the lucky – or perhaps unlucky few), their characterisation never wilts.
But the true star of the show is the production design. In every room, of which there are many, no detail is spared in order to achieve the sense that you’ve walked into a different world.
The first floor excels in its historical depictions, while the second floor lets the production team show off their creative chops with a creepy adult playground. Nearly every room will make your jaw drop at both the sheer scale and artistry involved.
With strong performers and an immersive set, there is an ever present sense that danger is looming around the corner.
That is until you’re guided into the last room where the tone of the production completely changes and becomes jovial, with pop songs included. This is quite jarring but nevertheless a fun way to end the production.
A Midnight Visit is a fresh concept that has generously gone all out to entertain Sydney-siders. With something for everyone, this production delivers on its promise of a fun and spooky night out.