An abandoned warehouse slated for demolition, near St Peters station in the inner west, will be the stage for a large-scale immersive theatre work by two production companies.
A Midnight Visit is inspired by the dark, unsettling works of American writer Edgar Allan Poe, and explores themes of madness, guilt, impermanence, memory, dreams and death. Part performance, part choose-your-own-adventure, and part adult playground, the audience pieces together the puzzle a story unfolding across the 30 rooms of the two-storey warehouse. The work is self-guided, so each audience member’s experience is totally unique.
“Set inside one of Poe’s dreams – not that you need to know anything about the man –it’s a place where the characters from his life and his literature collide,” says the director and co-creator Danielle Harvey in an official statement. “It’s sometimes funny, sometimes sexy, sometimes wistful, and yes, sometimes a bit scary.”
Harvey has been behind a number of Sydney’s more interesting events, including pop- and screen-culture festival BingeFest. She is the current director of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, and has also worked as head of contemporary performance at the Opera House and at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
A Midnight Visit is a collaboration between Broad Encounters Productions and Groundswell Productions, which have pulled together a creative team across different mediums to create what they call a “fantasy world”. Sound design is by a group of video game audio specialists, Peret von Sturmer and his Kpow Audio team; set design by magazine and film-set designer Jess Jacob; and costumes by theatre designer Melanie Liertz.
The creators say the result is a work grounded in the aesthetics of David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick and Netflix’s Stranger Things.
They have been given a limited residency at the 3500-square-metre former office-furniture warehouse because the site is going to be knocked down to make way for apartments.
There will also be a pop-up bar for those who feel the need for a stiff drink after the experience.
A Midnight Visit runs from October 3 to December 9, with preview performances from September 19, at 655 King Street, Newtown. More details here.