The Gunpowder Plot Immersive Experience 

Entertainment / Fri 17th Jun 2022 at 07:29am

The Gunpowder Plot Immersive Experience 

Remember, remember the 9th June… Gunpowder Plot press night. 

LET’S not let the fact that the Tower of London stood out against a beautiful blue sky, or that the deed itself took place 417 years and three miles of murky brown Thames away at the Palace of Westminster. The smoky tunnels and enthusiastically interactive actors at the Gunpowder Plot immersive experience took me back to November 4th, 1605, when Catholic extremists planned a terrorist attack during the State Opening of Parliament. A story we’re all familiar with, here in the UK, but one that has been brought to life through a combination of live action and virtual reality.

As a history buff with a particular love of this period in British history, I was captivated by the high production value and attention to detail on show. The location, a musket’s shot from the Tower of London and the heart of the City, and the dark, atmospheric and oppressive set design, allows for suspension of disbelief and 100 minutes of pure fun. Looking around at my surroundings during the virtual reality parts of the experience, the recreations of Jacobean London were beautiful, particularly the night sky that was unsullied by light pollution. 

The transitions between live action and VR, whilst not seamless, added to the sense of subterfuge and hurried panic. You are encouraged to take part and interact with the actors, and to conspire with your fellow plotters, hooded and cloaked. There were moments when the reserved group I was with needed some prodding to understand that we were expected to take part. The story also hinged on our team’s decision whether to plot or not, which seemed a strange option to give, that could potentially lead to a dead-end in the storyline. However, overall, any inconsistencies were quickly forgotten during the fast-paced action. 

The lead creative team consists of director Rosie Jones, creative director Hannah Price and writer Danny Robins, whom you may recognise from the podcasts Uncanny and The Battersea Poltergeist. Together, they have built an adventure through time that thrills and absorbs, and then expels you back into 2022.


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