A Midnight Visit
October 3, 2018
Immersive theatre is a genre for itself. Forget sitting in seat and merely losing yourself in the world it presents by engaging the imagination.
Then again it does neither imply that interaction and participation is an integral component or that the site needs to be specific.
However, all of the aforementioned tends to play a part and add to the total that, if it is done well, becomes much more than the sum of the individual parts.
Enter the triumvirate that forms the team of creatives behind A Midnight Visit, i.e. Kirsten Siddle, Danielle Harvey and Simon Hayward. What they have accomplished is the creation of a world that simulate all five senses, and by meticulously paying attention to details, create scenarios that do not only serve as a backdrop but also as a hands-on museum and art installation: Worlds within worlds than can be explored by audience member as they follow the implicit directive to touch, playfully interact, encounter with the performers and solve puzzles, which makes each facet uniquely personal depending on the route you decide to take.
Summa summarum – the audience is being taken on a journey, which is framed by a story that is based on the foundation of the stimulating oeuvre of Edgar Allan Poe. What makes the production of A Midnight Visit outstanding is that it not merely draws on the prevalent themes that pervade Poe’s lyrical emissions, e.g. culpability, afterlife, (sub-)consciousness, anxiety, hysteria and delusions, but manages to not only allude to and refer to his works but creates a coherent whole out of seemingly disparate pieces and a red thread is spun without forcefully enforcing it.
Employing performers, video projections, installations, sets and soundscapes in a two story abandoned warehouse, the collaboration between Broad Encounters and Groundswell Productions results in an evening that does not bank on previous knowledge of Poe’s work as the production can be enjoyed for what it is face value, but it certainly adds to the experience and it is interesting to see their idiosyncratic take on the characters.
Not unlike Edgar Allan Poe, A Midnight Visit evokes profound feelings yet allows you ample space and opportunity to fill in the blanks – it provides a canvas upon which you project your reactions and fears.
The orchestration of the event is well-paced and the fact that the excitement of sharing a space and become part of the immersive extravaganza does not wear off throughout the experience, is testament to the success of A Midnight Visit – a visit that culminates in the Raven’s Nest, a customized pop-up bar that extends the experience with themed drinks and a well-curated ambience before visitors are unleashed into the night.
A Midnight Visit is something you want you would want to immerse yourself in before the residency ends in December.