Review: The Gunpowder Plot

Style: Museum-led promenade
Where: Tower Vaults, Tower of London

Rating: 3/5 stars

There is much promise to The Gunpowder Plot, but as yet, much of it remains unfulfilled.

As a lover of immersive theatre, this was not nearly as interactive as I felt it was sold as. It ressembles most the immerisve War of the Worlds – which was a great experience but wasn’t marketed as something you could have a great deal of influence over.

Here you are told you will be involved in foiling (or perhaps furthering) the gunpowder plot. But the choices you make are minimal and don’t really seem to much afffect the outcome.

In choosing to have a famous actor (Tom Felton) ‘play’ Guy Fawkes, they have also made the final live action scenes feel really quite weird in ways I can’t really explain without spoiling them.

Overall the acting of the show is good and the cast guide you well through the experience. And that is what it is – it is an experience, not an immersive theatre show. Judged on those criteria, it is reasonably fun and I expect it comes as a really fun addition to a day out at the Tower of London. It’s isn’t designed for immersive snobs like me. But were my nephew and neiece a little younger I culd imagine this being an enormously fun way to engage with learning about an important period of our history.

The final problem with the show is that, like so many other things like it, the VR just doesn’t work very well. I had trouble with two out of the three VR experiences. I am continually surprised that big shows like this opt to rely so much on this seemingly still deeply unreliable technology.

Overall, I had fun. But ironically, I wasn’t blown away.

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