Teddy Lamb is currently undertaking a number of roles in Shotgun Carousel’s The Red Palace, an immersive dining experience playing at The Vaults until 12th Jan. We caught up with Teddy to find out more about their experience of working on the show.
Interview © Amie Taylor
AT: How did you come to be cast in The Red Palace?
TL: I saw a call out on Twitter. I have some friends who were in the last Shotgun Carousel show – Len Gwyn and Molly Beth White – so I got in touch and asked if they’d had a good experience and if they’d recommend working for them, and they both said ‘yes – they’re great people!’ It was a really nice audition process as well; they sent us a speech from all of the characters and asked us to pick one we felt connected to.
AT: What is The Red Palace about?
TL: It’s inspired by both Edgar Allan Poe’s Masque of The Red Death and by Grimm’s fairytales, so it’s set in a fairytale kingdom where a prince is hosting a ball to celebrate a thousand days of his reign. He’s brought together all of the rarest treats from around the kingdom for the audience to experience, as well as that the audience can interact with mermaids, Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood. However what the prince doesn’t know is that there’s some revolution stirring in the kingdom and that all comes to a head during the course of the evening. You can immerse yourself in to the story as much as you like and even talk to the characters, or you can have a drink, have a dance and take a step back – it’s up to you.
AT: What are the key differences for you between this kind of interactive and immersive performance and more traditional style theatre that you do?
TL: This show keeps me on my toes a lot more; every night is completely different – which is the same in more traditional theatre, but even more so in this because the audience are asking you questions, sometimes they’re jumping up and getting involved in scenes, and at other times they’re getting a bit too involved and you need to calm them down, or sometimes they’re not giving quite enough and you need to hype them up. It feels like you can build a greater connection with each individual audience member.
AT: Have you got any favourite audience moments or anecdotes from the run so far?
TL: Hmmm, I play three different characters and rotate depending on the night, so the experience is different with each character – when I have played The Wolf, you get a lot of pushback from audience members and they can be quite sassy with you, but then it’s also so much fun to put them down, last week someone started shouting out at me mid-scene, and I turned and shot them a look straight in the eye and you could see they thought it was hilarious, but it also did the trick and they stopped shouting at me. Afterwards as I was leaving they came to talk to me and said what a great experience it had been. Shotgun [Carousel] teach us how to deescalate situations in a really positive way.
AT: You say Shotgun Carousel teach you how to deescalate situations, is there anything else in their training that was different to working on a more traditional theatre show and what was the creation process like?
TL: It was hugely collaborative, which was great. On the first day of rehearsal Selene who directed, Cressida who wrote the show and Laura who produced were all there, and they had the narrative, the outline and who the characters were, but because we all multi-role and play a range of characters, we were able to create our own versions of the characters. It’s an all female and non-binary cast, so we all create versions of the characters within our own gender identities. We’ve really bonded as a cast, so it’s been a really wonderful experience becoming a part of the Shotgun Carousel family.
AT: Would you say having non-binary people in the cast, and playing a part in the creation process, has resulted in the work being quite queer in its nature?
TL: Yeah, there are queer narratives throughout the show and there are some characters that within our universe they are canonically queer and their love stories are always queer, and then sometimes it depends on the casting that day. So when I play Snow White I have love scenes with both cis women and non-binary people, depending on what night you see you may see a trans for trans romance or a trans and cis romance.
AT: Do you feel like working in this way has taught you things that you will take back with you to more traditional theatre?
TL: Oh totally! Your stage presence has to be dialled up to 300, because there is no stage; you have to walk in to the room with the confidence and the energy to make everyone turn and look at you, because there’s nothing separating you from them other than a microphone. I’ve learnt so much about deescalating rowdy audiences and creating intimate moments for audiences, that only one or two people may see.
Huge thanks to Teddy for speaking to us!
The Red Palace runs until 12th Jan and promises to be an exquisite night out for you and your friends. Book Now.
© Nic Kane Photography