"Ultimately, the short-lived, corny pleasures of 'A Midnight Visit' don’t offer much past an evening of mild fun." Photo by Jeff Busby.
Produced by Broad Encounters Productions, A Midnight Visit is billed as an "immersive indoor theatrical experience" leading guests through a redesigned warehouse on Macaulay Road, named House Of Usher, inspired by the work and life of Edgar Allen Poe. It’s an intriguing concept, with commendable ambition and a talented cast of actors that mostly comes off as wasted potential.
The choose-your-own-adventure approach to the space means it is very easy to miss out on some of the better performances and ‘moments’ in the experience, and even then, the lacklustre quality of others doesn’t make a repeat visit seem worthwhile. The most interesting moment we encounter is a woman in blood-covered bridal gear who follows us before performing a brilliant opera number on a table. The experience climaxes with a 'gala’ involving a musical performance by a number of the actors which, unfortunately, feels uneven and uninteresting.
While definitely targeted at adults, with the inclusion of a bar, we're too easily reminded of a Halloween haunted house. Told not to speak although some may scream, most reactions we hear are nervous laughter. Some rooms in the warehouse have clues suggesting a larger puzzle, but some of the rooms are too dark to read the ‘clues’ and multiple times we encounter other guests trying to find something of interest within the rooms. The best moments involve the monologues of the performers, often adapted excerpts of Poe’s works, however, even these grow tiring. Ultimately, the short-lived, corny pleasures of A Midnight Visit don’t offer much past an evening of mild fun.