From royal imprisonment to crown jewel stowage, the Tower of London has enjoyed a starring role throughout England's history.
Now, award-winning digital theatre company ANAGRAM invite you, ‘Operative 341’, into the shadowy world of state surveillance, through Nightwatchers — an immersive experience around the buildings and courtyards of this historic fortress.
The tour is based loosely around Thomas Phelippes, the famous Elizabethan forger and intelligence gatherer, who would befriend his targets and gain their trust before framing them.
Each participant is led on a solo audioguide tour. Two different voices give conflicting orders and you're never sure who to trust. Stay at Traitors' gate or enter the Salt tower?
As you ponder, you become part of the surveillance. Real life history mingles with very present as you're instructed to watch those around you and turn spy for the state. The conceit doesn't quite absorb and as a participant you remain aware of (and occasionally irritated by) the contrivance. The fun comes in cavorting around the castle grounds in the dark of night.
Don't book expecting a performative, theatrical immersive adventure. Nightwatchers is really more of a glorified audio guide. But as a new way of experiencing a London landmark, it's an entertaining way to spend the evening.
The time hops between surveillance hundreds of years ago and the society we live in today, make the Tower's history come to life and offer an enlightening perspective on contemporary issues.
|What||Nightwatchers, Tower of London review|
|Where||Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Tower Hill (underground)|
01 Feb 16 – 20 Feb 16, Screenings at 18:15, 18:35, 19:00, 19:20, 19:45
|Price||£16 - £20|
|Website||Click here to book via the Historic Royal Palaces website|