• Amy Toledano

The Red Palace presented by Shotgun Carousel

What is it?

An immersive evening of twisted fairy-tales, cabaret and dance featuring an entirely female and non-binary cast.

What is it all about?

The Vaults is transformed into a Gothic, fairy tale palace, with each room belonging to a different character, both familiar and updated with a dark twist.

The Prince, a nasty ruler with a particular love of masks, opens up his palace for the likes of the commoners (the audience) and allows us to explore and meet with many with the characters that reside there. But the Prince is on edge, there has been a prophecy that he will be killed on the 1000th day of his reign, a day just so happens to be today. Will his cunning plan of massacring the women serve him? Or will tonight be the night for revenge?

How did it make me feel?

For anyone that avoids shows like this for fear of immersive theatre, do not worry. This is some of the most gentle audience interaction I have ever experienced. Characters slink around the dining area for those of us enjoying the delicious VIP experience (with the menu designed by Master-chef semi-finalist Annie McKenzie) asking guests to take note of specific things throughout the evening, and recruiting some for secret missions.

The free flow style of the show is innovative, however some characters feel more polished than others, with some lacking direction (such as the in The Bath House) and others having a more clear journey (this was especially evident in Snow's Boudoir).

With it being a free flow style for the audience, there tends to be moments of confusion as guests float around without a clear structure of what is going on, and the crowd could have used a little more instruction upon arrival.

The performers are excellent, with brilliant improvisational skills keeping the guests engaged throughout.

Where was it playing?

The Vaults have transformed their underground tunnels into a magical palace, with all the beams draped with cloth and decked out with furniture and items specific to each character.

Particularity beautiful is The Bath House, which is home to The Mermaid, awaiting her love. This usually damp room is laid with glitter and shells, and a bathtub that shoots out steam at random intervals, and is quite the sight to behold.

Anything else?

A very special experience, and something to be shared with a group, this unique show is not like anything you will have been apart of before.

Amy x

The Red Palace is playing at The Vaults Waterloo until the 12th January 2020

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