Red Palace twisted fairy tales

Red Palace is the latest in an increasingly long line of theatrical dining experiences by Shotgun Carousel. Adventure through Red Palace and discover what has happened to your beloved classic fairy tale characters. Plus if you have a dining ticket, you’ll be able to enjoy a four course feast beforehand by MasterChef runner up Annie McKenzie which is fit for any King or Queen.

I and some other community members of Love Pop Ups London we were invited down on a complimentary basis to take a journey through Red Palace where we discovered a land of wonder.

ShotGun Carousel

Shotgun Carousel are a London based, female led production company and multi-disciplinary performance collective.

They specialise in creating bespoke performance and dazzling spectacles across the UK. They pride themselves on imaginative curation with their productions all providing attention to detail.

From walkabout acts, handmade costumes, extraordinary puppetry or large scale immersive performance, they provide all magic and escapism in this modern world.

This Autumn/Winter they bring Waterloo The Vaults Red Palace.

Red Palace

The Prince has ruled for a thousand days, to celebrate his reign in the Red Palace he is hosting a masquerade ball of fantastical proportions.

This is a new immersive theatre production providing cabaret and magical folk tales. Guests will be treated to a feast and fantasy, within this Gothic masquerade which breathes new life into beloved fairy tale characters.

Join The Prince and his fairy tale guests in a living labyrinth and enjoy a decadent evening of opulence and merriment, witness the beautiful, the brilliant, the wanton, the bizarre.

Don’t be deceived though, as these are not those same characters from your childhood memories. Snow White and Red Riding Hood are all grown up and neither are daddy’s little girl any more. Meet a phantasmagoria of assassins, avengers and prophetesses, music hall starlets and black market bootleggers, fabulous émigrés from beyond the Palace’s magical borders. Seductive sirens lounge in the bathhouse and wait to lure you to a luscious end. Alchemists will spin love spells into gold. And of course, the Wolf, who’s always at your door.

Lose yourself down corridors of the Red Palace and discover mysteries. This is your chance to live your own fairy tale ending. Indulge in the delicacies of The Prince’s banquet to the sound of a ghostly orchestra. Watch dancers and jesters, contortionists and buffoons as ballerinas fly through the air. Rest assured, there will be beauty and plenty of wine.

Don your mask and your devilish alter ego. Drink and be merry, for who knows how this party will end?

More about Annie McKenzie

Annie McKenzie is an Artistic Director of Scripts for Supper.

She is an actor, writer, director and chef, Annie graduated from the MA Acting course at East 15 in 2013, ahead of her appearance on the BBC’s MasterChef in 2016. Annie is passionate about creating devised, collaborative and organic work, and retelling classic stories in an original and dynamic way.

The Vaults

The Vaults is London’s home for immersive theatre and alternative arts. Their mission is to collaborate and conspire, embracing artists from all walks of life to come together and inspire others.

Set in a maze of disused railway arches under Waterloo station in London, they encourage those that have a natural affinity to the unusual, the daring and the unknown. They want talented artists from every vocation to mutate their art, to make stuff that is challenging, accessible and imaginative. 

The graffiti tunnel in Leake Street is founded by Banksy a public space where you can view the ever-changing work at any time.

Within Red Palace dark fairy tales lurk

Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale and Red Palace provided a breadcrumb trial for us to take our fairy tale life further where we ended up in a spinning land of wonder meeting and learning about the adult life’s of Snow White, Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretal live.   

A feast fit for Royalty by Annie McKenzie

Before following a trail of breadcrumbs through the labyrinth of Red Palace we firstly feasted on a four course meal by Annie McKenzie who runs Scripts for Supper and enjoyed a variety of dishes.

The dinner is served feast-style, so large helpings are placed on the table for everyone to share and help themselves.

To start we were given honey soda bread with a bowl of rosemary butter which was a real delight had a lovely crunch with a soft bread full of flavour. It also came accommodated with a bowl of baked Camembert which was gooey and nutty giving the bread a whole new taste when dipping into this creamy cheese.

Luckily Snow White was not around to take any bread as I think she would of ended up feeding it to her bird friends as she loves animals so much.

The shallot tarte tatan was flaky, buttery and caramelised making it an onion lovers piece of heavenly treat.

The lentil salad was a treat looking like little pearls they were flavoursome giving our taste buds an explosion of sensation from textures. The potatoes looked like golden nuggets, were soft and bursting with flavour. The spiced lamb though was the jewel of the night as it was succulent and extremely tasty. If I did not have to share amongst others I would of eaten all the lamb within the bowl but alas sharing was required.

The dessert was a crowning glory. These salted caramel toffee apples were served on a bed of cocoa nibs, with coconut flakes and popping candy on the side! Refreshing, delicious a great way to end a meal. I am sure Red Riding Hood would have murdered for as it was red, sweet and delicious.

Plus I enjoyed a glass of martini or two with my meal. Even though it was made using coffee liqueur it was sheer perfection. They also sell non-alcoholic cocktails.

All the dishes were delicious however I do feel that the service was rushed and so I felt like we had to eat in a hurry.

During the meal we were visited by the Prince and his mischievous cat hinting to us mysterious secrets to see us on our travels.

A royal performance

Around 7.30pm it was time to meet the Prince. Upon looking over the balcony it started with us learning that the Prince has heard about a red death that will cause his undoing, so has taken some quite brutal steps to prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled.

We were then treated to a cabaret style performance from dancing and an aerial performance using silk ribbons it was time to take our breadcrumb journey of our choosing through the Red Palace.

I had to adventure downstairs after a time as there was not enough space to overlook the balcony so I joined the others who bought general admission tickets down in the ballroom.  

Upon the performance ending it was time for us to explore rooms including Snow’s Boudoir, the Gingerbread House, Red Riding Hoods Woods and so much more where storybook favourites unfolded leading to an adult tale of abused power and vengeance.

Adult life

Encountering a dizzy grown up Snow White who was celebrating her birthday I just loved flirting with all around her. However she may not be the fairest of them all anymore as let’s just say the years may of not been kind to her even the cracked mirror reflects this.

Snow pulled me up from the crowd to play a game of truth or dare and upon being asked by her is she still the fairest of them all? I had to let’s say tell a lie as to not hurt her feelings.

She then proceeds to enjoy her birthday celebrations miming to Material Girl as she waits to be swept off her feet by a handsome prince.

Upon entering Hansel and Gretal Gingerbread cabaret we was treated by Gretal to a burlesque type dance by herself.

She sure has got into shape and looked stunning, mesmerising or has she learnt a spell or two from the witch and put me under a spell?   

Even the Big Bad Wolf popped on in which we then was all led to the woods to meet Red Riding Hood.

Adventuring through the woods I met Red Riding Hood and was told a story about her grandmother and the big bad wolf. Watch out though for the Big Bad Wolf who lurks within the woods.

With so many other rooms, which alas I did not get to see all, you will come out telling a tale yourself. Life does not always end up being a perfect fairy tale well not for them and in the Princes case it ended with his death.


This adult fairy tale journey took us through a labyrinth full of twists and turns in which we discovered the secrets behind the masks of Red Palace, enjoyed a decadent blend of comedy, cabaret, burlesque, and circus performances through this immersive theatre adventure.

The stories were all well-conceived and executed with talented females and non-binary cast playing a diversity of roles.

I particularly loved exploring on the trails that took my fancy through this labyrinthine and meeting past loved fairy tale characters whom which are now all grown up. The only thing though that let Red Palace down slightly for me was the uncertainty of where certain rooms were so a simple map would have been handy. However characters do try and lead us to our certain desired rooms but with it being quite crowded with other guests is quite hard to hear or see where to head to. Plus even at dinner there was not quite enough space for every diner and so ended up practically on each others laps whilst eating. Also being a VIP thinking I was unable to look over the balcony at the action taking place at the beginning so I had to venture on down stairs to join those who bought general tickets but even downstairs it was too crowded so I ended up not hardly seeing what was happening at the start.  

However despite the over crowdedness the Red Palace is a creative, multiroom experience that utilises the venue well. It may feel muddled at times, but as it conjures up the spirit of cabaret and spices them up with a contemporary vibe through this raunchy revelry.

Whether you opt to have the dinner before the show, or just go for the show on its own, you will end up having a fantastic time and leave with a tale to tell yourself.

Take your adventure through Red Palace

Red Palace runs at The Vaults until 12 January 2020 with performance from Tuesday – Sunday.

General Admission includes:
Entry to Red Palace
A Gothic masquerade ball
Immersive cabaret/fairy tale show
A Gothic masquerade ball
Doors open at 6.30pm with show starting at 7.30pm
Prices start from £18

VIP Dining Tickets includes
All of the General Admission access
A 3 course dining feast from Annie McKenzie Masterchef Semi-finalist
Exclusive access to VIP dining space
Exclusive intimate performances
Doors open at 6pm with dinner starting at 6.30pm
Prices start from £45

Dress code recommendation
Dress like a The Prince’s Royal Subjects, with masquerades to impress
Masks are available to purchase on the door for £4.50

WARNING Red Palace contains adult themes and sexual references as well as strobe lighting.

Book via clicking here.

Thank you to Red Palace for inviting me and some other community members down to take a fairy tale journey of wonder and delight.

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