Part performance, part surreal playground, part choose your own adventure – and all parts unforgettable, the award-winning immersive theatre show, A Midnight Visit, has announced the eleven multidisciplinary performers who will be taking up residency at the House of Usher – Funeral Services from 30 July 2019.
With the show being praised for its dauntless innovation and visionary disruption of traditional theatre, A Midnight Visit pushes the frontiers of contemporary performance across 36 rooms in a two-storey warehouse – bringing audiences up close and intimate with the dark secrets at the heart of our humanity, staging unique encounters under an intricate, clockwork-timed choreography.
Cast members include Cameron MacDonald as Roderick Usher, who joins the show fresh from the Australia-wide tour of Jersey Boys; Kristian Santic, who has worked on productions with Nick Cave and GOMA, is the Hop Frog; and Saro Sawakchim, a former number one gymnast in Thailand, plays The Black Cat.
Reprising their roles are several fan favourites, including burlesque and theatre performer Hannah Raven as Ligeria; and musical and theatre performer Bobbie-Jean Henning as Virginia. They will be joined by Stee Andrews as The King; John Marc Desengano as Detective Dupin; Megan Drury is The Actress; Hudson Emery plays The Raven; Bri Emrich is Madeline Usher; and Andy Johnston is Poe.
A Midnight Visit is inspired by the arch-priest of gothic, Edgar Allan Poe, each cast member embodies a real or imagined figment of his world, whether it be a character from his poetry (The Raven), his short stories (The Black Cat), or his fatefully short life (Virginia).
Enriching the multi-genre production, each performer brings a specialised skill to A Midnight Visit. These talents range from contemporary circus to physical theatre, burlesque to acrobatics, live music to text-based narrative.
This multidisciplinary range thrills the Broad Encounters power duo polymaths, Kirsten Siddle and Danielle Harvey – the two have imagineered the production into life from inception into its third upcoming season.
“The production embraces the diversity of Australian talent,” says Siddle. “It’s wonderful to have such a phenomenal cast with such diverse skills and backgrounds.”
While Harvey, who is also the show’s director describes her role facilitating and directing the performers “to let their unique abilities shine through” as “a rare and wonderful opportunity.”
Both new and returning cast members have themselves embraced the bold and unconventional nature of the show. The format gives audiences agency over their own experience, encouraging creativity, curiosity and play. In turn, this means that performers have no single stage, performing to a constantly shifting audience, across a multitude of different rooms.
“There’s no other performance platform in Australia that allows each of our multidisciplinary artists the opportunity to play, explore and continually grow like A Midnight Visit does,” says Stee Andrews, who returns to the role of The King after being cast in the Perth production.
While Cameron MacDonald believes the show is tapping into Australia’s hunger for new forms of entertainment. “I’m hearing all about A Midnight Visit from friends of mine who wouldn’t normally go to the theatre!” he says. “The idea of immersive theatre is exciting to the general public, and they’re going to have a great time.”
Megan Drury, who has been with the production since its premiere season in Sydney, says the show is “unlike anything else I’ve experienced in my work-life to date.”
A Midnight Visit
House of Usher – Funeral Services, 222 Macaulay Rd, North Melbourne
Season: 7 August – 15 September 2019 (previews: 30 July – 4 August)
Information and Bookings: www.amidnightvisit.com
Image: A Midnight Visit (supplied)