Find out what critics have been saying about this new immersive experience bringing the history of the Gunpowder Plot to life.

(c)Mark Dawson

The Guardian: *** “Maybe not for tourists who are less familiar with how this well-known episode of English history played out – and we are given the full lowdown in luminous graphics at the end. As a show for tourists, this will no doubt be a money-spinner, but it has some thrills and spills for the rest of us too.”

Broadway World: **** “The storytelling equips the patrons with all the information needed to discuss the actions of his group of extremists at the bar later. The production is not only great fun, but thought provoking too. If the traitors succeeded, England might have been extremely different. Or, perhaps, another Parliament would have been built and we’d be on the same sinking ship, only a Catholic one. Who’s to know.”

The Times: ***** “Stand at a flashpoint in British history. Become a conspirator in the Gunpowder Plot. This is an immersive experience in which virtual reality and a team of actors are brought together in the vividly evocative setting of Tower Hill Vaults to lead you ducking and dashing, betraying and scheming, scampering and soaring through the London of four centuries ago. Plunge into the treacherous realm of 1605 London, a world in which Protestants and Catholics are teetering at the brink of savage religious war.”

Time Out: **** “It’s also a lot of fun – convincing live actors and slick, impressive sets are broken up by three headset-based virtual reality sequences. I guess your expectations of VR may determine how impressed you are at these, but I thought they were a hoot. In the first, we zipwire out of the Tower and over the streets of London and the Thames. It’s preposterous, of course, but camply thrilling, with glorious 360-degree panoramas of the London of 400 years ago (we also learn at the end that that there genuinely was a zipwire escape from the Tower, albeit a lot smaller). Later on, we get in a virtual boat with Fawkes, as played with hammy intensity by a pre-recorded version of Draco Malfoy himself, aka actor Tom Felton. The sequences absolutely look like you’re in a slightly glitchy video game of maybe 15 years ago. But they’re a good laugh, a note of escapist adventure that peps up the more brooding live action.”

London Unattached: “The acting was superb with elements of fear, suspicion and daring feats of rebellion thoroughly embodied by the live actors. The virtual reality elements were really brilliant in some places, we particularly loved the boat scene which is shown in the trailer where you get to traverse the River Thames to get to the Houses of Parliament with Guy Fawkes, played by Tom Felton.”

London Theatre1: **** “The accomplished, creative team of writer, Danny Robins, former Olivier nominee, and director, Hannah Price, have made the journeys between the live scenes historically stunning by the use of virtual reality. Sit on a swing or hop into a rowing boat, put on headsets and be transported back in time. Escape the tower on an extended and exciting rope journey (as happened to a priest, but slower), travelling virtually with Guy Fawkes (played by Tom Felton) through the dangerous shipping of the Port of London as you transport barrels of gunpowder to blow up parliament under the stars on his last night of freedom. There is amazement and poignancy there. Finally watch the King, safe in Westminster Hall, before experiencing London in danger through the ages, bombers going overhead, and Guy Fawkes as a ghost. Hero or villain? Despite the known failure of the treason plot and the violence and duplicity of the time the show is never bleak or too much to bear, it is energising.”

Evening Standard: **** “The staging, though, is immaculate: the room of a Jacobean house, for example, looks disturbingly realistic, as do the clever sound effects that make you think that you’re one step away from being caught by Protestant zealots.”

The Stage: *** “Light and tourist-friendly immersive theatre experience in the heart of London.”

The Upcoming: *** “At its best, The Gunpowder Plot feels like the London Dungeon with less humour and a more consistent and serious storyline. This can be a good thing – if one is lucky to have an upbeat group that enjoys participating, the whole experience can be very enjoyable. At its worst, however, it’s a show struggling with the technology and relying on the performances of the live actors alone – and with prices starting at £40 for tickets during the week and work hours, it’s not self-evident that it’s actually worth it.”

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