New immersive dance work ‘In Crimson’ coming to All Saints’ College

Award winning dancer Natalie Allen and HotHouse Company co-present a new exciting immersive dance theatre work.

In Crimson is inspired by the eerie 1842 Edgar Allan Poe story, The Masque of the Red Death.

Poe’s short story tells of Prince Prospero fleeing to his castellated abbey to escape from the Red Death, a plague that is spreading rapidly throughout the village. He invites noblemen to join him to retreat from the plague. They survive for months, so the prince decides to host a masquerade ball to celebrate their continuing existence, but at the stroke of midnight, death arrives, and they all fall dead to the Red Death.

“I love how Poe’s story is so relevant, it holds up a mirror to our current lives in the lingering Covid-19 pandemic. How the world became disconnected, our desire to connect, share intimacy and the loss of what we knew has been destabilising and transformative,” Allen said of the work.

“I really want to honour this current time and acknowledge the individual experience of life, of death, and how we all individually come to terms with our finite end. That we can be the phoenix rising out of the ashes.”

The 55-minute In Crimson journey features ten emerging artists, all WAAPA graduates, and original music composition by Pavan Hari. The strength of dance is its hyperreal and surreal nature through the body expressing what words cannot. The words used in the work convey strong meaning and extra information about the characters back story, events of the ball and the themes and ideas encapsulated within Poe’s story.

In Crimson is an adaptation and evolution of the work Stained in Crimson Natalie created for LINK Dance Company in 2020. Seven out of the ten emerging artists were in the original theatre production, all very keen and inspired to continue to evolve the show, developing their own skills as performing artists and makers, under the direction of Natalie. The project has centred itself around professional development, international borders were closed, making the opportunity to travel for skill development difficult.

Another unique and exciting facet of In Crimson is the collaboration with the students and staff of All Saints College (ASC) in creating the set design. ASC students will experience firsthand collaboration with a professional production and be interwoven into the creation process, their art displayed within the show.

“HotHouse Company is thrilled to continue our long-standing creative partnership with Natalie Allen through In Crimson,” said Director Drew Mayhills.

“This work is the third Natalie has presented at the college.”

“I feel that as In Crimson honours the individual experience of life, death and birth, I wanted to create a community around the creation of the work,” Allen adds.

“This is an amazing opportunity to interweave the arts community with the next generation of thinkers and creators.”

“This is my most ambitious work to date and the level of collaboration and bringing a community together to connect is very exciting for me and the creative team. I cannot wait for audiences to share in this deep process and the surreal world of In Crimson”.

Mayhills also highlights Natalie’s vision to completely re-imagine one of our flagship buildings as an immersive dance theatre work is an ambitious and exciting one. The last few years have been particularly challenging for the Arts sector, and In Crimson will be one of our premier events this year as we re-activate our programming.

“While there has been no shortage of innovative responses and pivots to digital to keep things going, there’s really no substitute for experiencing the Arts in-person. In Crimson will be a fitting reminder of this when an intimate audience is immersed within the universe of Natalie’s imagination.”

“At All Saints’ College, we believe that the Arts is fundamentally about connection – HotHouse Company connects students to artists, artists to opportunities and audiences to unique experiences. With these principles in mind, In Crimson is a perfect collaborative fit for us.”

“We are very much looking forward to challenging our audience’s understanding of what kinds of artistic projects can be realised in unconventional spaces and cannot wait to welcome audiences to the College to experience In Crimson.”

Audiences are invited into the surreal world of In Crimson, a hint into the lives of ten character’s journeys to their finite end. A play into the masks we wear to survive and the de-masking of ourselves to thrive. It asks the question what type of end of times party would you have?

Life isn’t a dress rehearsal and In Crimson will be a bold, extravagant, surreal adventure to reflect, reconsider, play and dream.

In Crimson will premiere in Building 8, All Saints’ College, Bullcreek from 12 to 16 July 2022. For tickets and more info head to

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