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The Liberty Visits Vaults Live

This week the Liberty visited one of the newest and most creative tourist attractions in Dublin 8 – Vaults Live. 

The Vaults tell the stories of six “infamous” characters in Irish history in an inventive and engaging way. 

Upon entering, guests make their way through the renovated Victorian schoolhouse where they are transported to scenes of Ireland’s past. 

In each room, visitors meet a new character. Some are recognisable names like Molly Malone, Bram Stoker and an executioner under Oliver Cromwell. Others are introduced to us as Judge Dolores Falseface, Sr. Brigid and Ikea the Viking.

Each character tells their story as they welcome guests into their life. Molly Malone greets visitors on Montgomery Street, or what was more commonly known as the Monto. 

While the cast have the duty to relay historic information accurately to guests, they also have a laugh with the audience. They make sure visitors are involved in the show, asking them to sing along, offering them medicinal remedies, or even asking for dating advice. 

Where else could you have a fight with a Viking? 

The show’s producer, Gerald Heffernan regarded that this was the focal point of the experience they offer.

“We feel we’ve done a job if people leave with a smile on their face and they say, ‘Oh, I didn’t realise that about Cromwell or Molly Malone’ or whoever,” he said.

According to Heffernan, this degree of immersiveness is what makes the Vaults different. 

“I don’t think there’s anything else that offers or attempts to offer, to be fair, a sort of humorous immersive entertaining trip through aspects of Irish history,” he said. 

The centre, on John’s Lane West, opened up last November and now has a cast of 24 actors, each “with a CV as long as your arm,” according to sales manager Cary Posavitz. 

The scripts for each scene were written by award winning playwright Peter Sheridan and have “changed very little” over the course of the year, according to Heffernan. 

While there are no plans to introduce a seventh character, what the Vaults plans to do is to “seasonalise scenes” for different celebrations throughout the year.

 Although they couldn’t reveal too much to the Liberty, Heffernan did hint that they would focus on Bram Stoker’s scene for this year’s Halloween shows. 

The Vaults aspire to be “another addition” to the entertainment and tourism side of the Liberties and contrast to other developments. 

“We’re a little bit different in that we’re not a student accomodation or a four or five star hotel,” Heffernan said. 

After a year they do feel like they’re “part of the community” and like they’re “making a contribution” to Dublin 8.
Shows run on Thursday to Sunday and Bank Holidays from 11am. Tickets can be bought online or in-centre and prices start from €14. For more information see www.vaults.live

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