Interview – Celine Lowenthal, Director of Red Palace at The Vaults Theatre

Interview – Celine Lowenthal, Director of Red Palace at The Vaults Theatre

Last year Shotgun Carousel invited theatre goers into the magical and immersive world of Divine Proportions. The evening was filled with food, drink, cabaret and stand up and this year they’re upping the scale in their brand new production The Red Palace. Inspired by fairytales from all over the world, audiences will be invited will be invited to a masquerade ball by The Prince – director Celine Lowanthal told Uppercircle all about what it takes to bring such an immersive piece together. 

Celine said the inspiration for the piece was initially sparked by Edgar Allan Poe’s short story Mask of the Red Death a story that Celine describes as being, “extraordinary, extreme, gothic and strange” and therefore lends itself brilliantly to a theatrical setting. Other inspiration came from fairytales from around the world, “collectively we all read lots and lots of different fairy tales different cultures and translated from different languages and we’re all bringing different characters to the table that we wanted to populate this world with. So it’s been incredibly creatively fulfilling”  in particular the stories from Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson, with Celine explaining, “those of have been our bed rocks, for where we’ve been taking characters from and the energy that we’re using.”

The piece brings together a number of theatrical elements, as well as having a scripted narrative, the evening also features cabaret and circus elements as well as themed food and drinks – with all that considered it’s difficult to know where one would start when it comes to planning and directing such a piece, but Celine said it was all made easier by being surrounded by such a supportive team, “what keeps me going with this work is the people that I’m working with.”Continuing to say that, “I just find them the most inspiring – that’s honestly what keeps the fire going in me.”

Audiences attending the show will be free to roam and explore The Vaults at their own pace Celine added, “t’s the kind of show that rewards the adventurous, worth passing that on to the world.” Continuing to say that that is one of the key things that really sets this show aside from others as a director, because you are no longer looking at the characters as the protagonists, and instead the audience take centre stage. Celine explained that, “the biggest mindset shift as I go into making an immersive production is trying not to get too lost in the narrative the characters, and making sure the audience are experiencing their own particular narrative.”

Red Palace will be running at The Vaults from 2nd October – 12th January and more information can be found on their website: https://www.thevaults.london/red-palace

Jennifer Thompson

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