The Gunpowder Plot step back in time to 1605

Have you ever wanted to know what it might of felt like living back in 1605 where the city was divided and rebellions took to the streets but more so 1605 is known for when Catholic conspirator Guy Fawkes who attempted to blow up King James I and the British Parliament on 5 November. However luckily his plot was discovered and Guy Fawkes was caught, tortured and later executed along with seven others. Ever since on 5 November known as Guy Fawkes Day or some know it as Bonfire Night we celebrate by by traditionally burning a dummy of Guy Fawkes on a bonfire, accompanied by fireworks.

Question is are you brave enough to step into a world where spies and informants hide in every shadow? Within The Gunpowder Plot your mission is to go undercover and unmask the mysterious figures behind history’s most infamous plot. But when you’re surrounded by traitors the question is who can you really trust?

I was invited to the press night of the opening of The Gunpowder Plot which is a very immersive 90 minute theatrical experience which took us on a historical tour like no other and a choice to be made. To help defend the monarchy or help Guy Fawkes with his plot?

The Gunpowder Plot

The Gunpowder Plot is a thrilling new immersive experience set on a historical moment which will take you on a journey back to 5 November 1605 when Guy Fawkes and his gang had an explosive plan in mind.

Writer Olivier nominee Danny Robins along with creative direction by multi BAFTA award-nominated director Hannah Price, is the latest immersive show produced by award-winning Layered Reality experiences. Inspired by Historic Royal Palaces research, a cast of digital actors perform this multi-sensory adventure alongside live actors to create a hybrid theatrical experience with virtual reality provided by award-winning VR studio Figment Productions, headed by Simon Reveley. 

This immersive theatre show takes place within a space within the Tower Vaults, at the UNESCO World Heritage Tower of London. The vaults sit beneath the infamous Tower Hill site where much of the prelude to the Gunpowder Plot took place before Guy Fawkes’ torture and eventual death over 400 years ago.

The Gunpowder Plot will ignite all your five senses as you make a dangerous attempt to escape the Tower, as you take on the daring journey.

  • Meet mysterious figures behind the plot
  • Take on an undercover mission to infiltrate their inner circle
  • Make a dangerous attempt to escape the Tower
  • Uncover a secret safehouse
  • Enjoy drinks within the infamous Duck and Drake as you choose your path
  • Make a daring journey along the Thames towards the Houses of Parliament

“It’s like somebody made a brilliant movie version of The Gunpowder Plot and it came to life around you and exploded in your face with bits of Jacobean London flying at you.”

Writer Danny Robins

“The show is set up in such a way that it fools the body into telling the mind that you are physically there, that those characters are speaking to you directly and this encourages the belief that you are both present and able to influence the history that’s happening around you. It’s a fundamentally new way of experiencing history because you’re not just witnessing it but actually participating in it for the first time. The multisensory elements will form memories that will really feel real.” 

Creative consultant Tim Powell

“I’m very excited to be playing a character so famous (and infamous!) for being at the centre of the most famous conspiracy plot in UK history. Guy Fawkes is a fascinating character with a complex history and with passionate advocates and detractors then and now. To be able to bring the character to life through Virtual Reality, and to allow him to interact with audiences in a way that has never been done before, is thrilling.”

Tom Felton actor

Save the Monarchy or help the rebellions?

The Gunpowder Plot is set within the vaults in where most of the real plotting by Guy Fawkes took place, he even was executed here.

Walking down the stairs firstly I encounter a bar area in which I decide to have a few themed drinks and some nibbles before my adventure. All the drinks were explosive in tasty. Highly recommend having a few beforehand.

After fuelling up it was time for me to step back into time and walk the streets of London as they were back in 1605.

Photo credit Mark Dawson

1605 is known for many historical happenings across the world but for us Brits 1605 has mainly been remembered thanks to Guy Fawkes who tried to destroy the monarchy and the Parliament buildings.

Greeted by one of Guy Fawkes rebellions we were guided through the plan of what Guy Fawkes has in mind before we adventured through the replicated streets of London and visited homes of those who Guy Fawkes trusted. We were told to be wary who to trust and to follow the fuse, a stream of light which lead us in the direction we needed to go. It really felt like we were part of the rebellions for real helping Guy Fawkes. Before though setting off along the historical adventure I was given a cloak to don. It was then time to take a journey back in time to 5 November 1605 in which I interacted with some shifty looking characters, deciphered codes, snuck past guards and hid as to avoid being spotted by priest hunters.

However half way through things took a turn as it was then up to us to decide as to carry on helping Guy Fawkes or help save the Monarchy. Within the Duck and Drake, which is based on a real pub which gunpowder plotters met back in 1605 it was from here I had to make a decision with the group of people I was with. Coming to a joint decision we decided to carry on helping Guy Fawkes with his Gunpowder plot. So we collaboratively agreed but not all went to plan, as in the end he did not trust us. However no matter what decision you do make as a group I am unsure if it really does make much of an impact on the way this famous historical event plays out during the experience.

At the very end of the attraction, I got to experience how Bonfire Night is being celebrated throughout each decade after 1605 via VR and poses a question to the viewer to consider whether Guy Fawkes is a hero or in fact a villain.

There is also a photo opportunity in which is taken with a green background as to enable you to choose a moment from history to keep be it the barrels of gunpowder or a bonfire.

There is even a merchandise shop where you can take home various Gunpowder Plot themed items to remember the experience.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I really enjoyed immersing myself through the year 1605 in which I learnt more about the gunpowder plot’s history than what I thought I would. Everything from the staging, sound, smells, streets, rooms and characters made this experience very realistic, making me feel like I had really stepped back into the past.

The most thrilling moments for me was when we donned on VR headsets from time to time. I particularly enjoyed the boat ride which we donned on the VR headset, with the boat moving and even got wet. With this it really did make it fell like we were being rowed across the Thames with London Bridge on my right and a galleon on the left. However sometimes the headset glitched at times.

As I don’t want to give too much away as there are elements of surprise this is a great immersive show to go along to if you want to discover more about Guy Fawkes and what a great place to do so, as the vaults is where most of the plotting occurred.

The Gunpowder Plot is certainly one of the most immersive historical attractions that I’ve ever attended. So if you love immersive shows, historical buildings, history and would love to learn more about Guy Fakes then you will love this show.

The only thing I would note though that this is set within the vaults so you are always within dimly lit rooms so it’s a quite dark experience and on occasion there are tense moments, surprises and large bangs. So if you don’t like the dark, surprises or loud noises then The Gunpowder Plot might not be suitable for you.

The Gunpowder Plot book now

Gunpowder Immersive 
Tower Vaults 
8-12 Tower Hill Vaults

Step inside history’s most daring conspiracy

Standard: £40-70
Wheelchair: £40-70
Children (under 16): save £10 per ticket
VIP tickets: £90-110

Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes (with 20 minute interval)

Book now

Thanks to The Gunpowder Plot marketing team for inviting me to the press night. Was an explosive night. All views are my own honest opinion.

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