There is, of course, absolutely nothing the British love more than to celebrate the failure of the Gunpowder Plot. Some 416 years after Guy Fawkes and his band of Catholic conspirators failed to blow up parliament on November 5, 1605, the good people of the UK commemorate his failure via the medium of fireworks and – in sadly decreasing numbers – burning effigies of Fawkes on huge bonfires.
But what if you could commemorate the plot’s failure every day? Not with fireworks and massive bonfires, of course. But how about… a ‘layered reality experience, blending VR, live actors and various special effects? Well, great news: today the Tower of London has announced new immersive attraction ‘The Gunpowder Plot’, which sees you step back in time and attempt to win the trust of and join the plotters – the inference being that your intention is to betray them to the crown, though details are pretty scant at the moment.
What we do know is that it’s promising a completely immersive environment, full of the sounds, sensations and even smells of 1605: you’ll be able to see the Tower as it was back then. Plus it has a top-notch creative team: the script is by Danny Robins, author of hit podcast ‘The Battersea Poltergeist’ and this summer’s smash play ‘2:22 – A Ghost Story’. And it’s directed by Hannah Price, the rising star co-director of the revamped King’s Head Theatre. And it’s got a very decent star: Tom Felton – aka Draco Malfoy from the Harry Potter films! He'll be leading a digital cast of over 50, ie it'll be a pre-recorded performance, although we're promised that you'll actively be able to interact with the character via the magic of virtual reality.
To be honest, it’s a bit hard to get your head around exactly what it’ll be like right now, but there’s every reason to think ‘The Gunpowder Plot’ will be something pretty special, and a major new London attraction.
‘The Gunpowder Plot’ is at the Tower of London Vaults. Booking May 6-Sep 4.