Review | Choose your own adventure in A Midnight Visit

A Midnight Visit | Perth Girls’ School | til 3rd Mar | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

There’s a few things you need to know before experiencing A Midnight Visit, and experience it you must. Firstly, the present building was erected on land that was once part of the East Perth Cemetery. Then Perth Girls School was built on the site before The Police Traffic Department began using the building in 1963 and vacated it in 2015.

All you need is a curious mind and a brave soul as you explore the rooms of this piece of WA’s history. In this immersive experience you’ll come across school lockers, an interrogation room and a grave yard. Wearing a black surgical mask, you will enter a Victorian world of disease, death and dark characters and no talking is allowed.

The inspiration for many of the rooms is the works of American writer Edgar Allan Poe who specialised in tales of mystery and macabre. As Poe’s raven says in Nevermore, “Those who dream by day are cognisant of many things which escape those who dream only by night … All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream … Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”

Being familiar with Poe’s works is a bonus but not a necessity as the rooms are full of minute details to become part of the nightmares. Completely disorientated, I wandered through dark curtained hallways on my choose-my-own-adventure. All senses were engaged … even the sixth one as shadowy figures hovered in corners and screaming characters emerged from nowhere.

Each journey is different with fascinating rooms to explore and sometimes other participants to watch as they put on impromptu performances with the actors.

A Midnight Visit is part of the Fringe World Festival. It is on at various times at the Perth Girls’ School at 2 Wellington Street until Sunday 3rd March.

Lezly Herbert

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