Perfectly timed for the Halloween season, A Midnight Visit invites visitors to step into an alternate world. The immersive theatrical experience embraces a gothic macabre aesthetic. And it’s certainly no ordinary trip to the theatre. Taking over an abandoned warehouse in North Melbourne, the space has been converted into 36 themed rooms inspired by Edgar Allen Poe. Audiences are invited to explore the space, as actors weave in and out of the world reciting lines, singing songs or, on occasion, spitting up blood.
The event is an immersive ‘choose your own adventure’ and the more you let curiosity guide you, the more you’ll get out of it. Take a seat on the vintage furniture; pull open a drawer to reveal its contents; scour sheets of paper for hidden references to Poe’s writing; or follow one of the characters through the venue. It’s channeling a Punch Drunk Sleep No More vibe, with audiences donning masks and venturing into a deconstructed theatrical world.
Upon entering a non-descript building in North Melbourne, we were guided into a hastily painted waiting room and told to sign a waiver. When I saw the document included a promise not to run, jump, or dive into a ball pit, I knew I’d come to the right place for a Friday night adventure.
To make our stay at the ‘House of Usher Funeral Services’ (as the building is called) more comfortable, there was a coat check and a bar serving charcuterie, cocktails and local beer. The experience recommends visitors arrive 30 minutes before their scheduled session time. (Presumably, so everyone has plenty of time to read over what they are and are not allowed to do in the ball pit.) Also, my plus one didn’t heed this warning and we were split into separate groups temporarily.
Although, I found exploring A Midnight Visit on my own to be all the more entertaining. I was pulled into a one-on-one experience with an actress, discovered a hidden door, and was given a special task by a raven. With so much happening throughout the multi-level venue, it’s both perfect and maddening for people with FOMO. At the end of the night, my plus one and I enthusiastically compared notes – did you notice the name on the grave? Did you see the tell-tale heart? Did you find the room of secrets? It’s like a fever dream on a massive scale, with delightful attention to detail.
A Midnight Visit invites audiences to step into mysterious world. But visitors are silent witnesses to the spectacle (for anyone that finds audience participation the most frightening thing of all.)
Jenny S. is an event adventurer. When she’s not attending live shows, you can find her sampling the latest craft beer or sipping a creative cocktail.
A Midnight Visit runs Wednesday – Sunday, with a special Halloween party weekend 31 October – 2 November. For more information, visit: www.amidnightvisit.com.
The venue is not accessible.