10, 11, 12 March 2022
Churchill War Rooms
£35.00 per journey
Step into Operation Black Door, a brand-new theatrical event experience filled with characters with secrets to discover. Will you be one of them?
Immerse yourself in a time when every second mattered, every decision was crucial and every act counted.
Be the first to enter the world where history was made, after hours on 10, 11 and 12 March 2022. Tickets are on sale now!
Will You Play Your Part?
Will You Play Your Part?
Based on stories from the Second World War.
Solve missions inspired by the real people who worked in this secret government headquarters.
With five different journeys to choose from, become part of the mysterious Department as you take on challenges to uncover the stories hidden underground in the labyrinthine corridors of Churchill War Rooms:
As part of the Department, you must not give yourself away. The best way not to be seen? Dress the part.
Can you solve the tasks and unlock the secrets of Operation Black Door?
Aged 18 plus only
One carer to assist each disabled visitor
Choose Your Journey
Choose your story, select your date and entry time, and build your own 'after hours' experience. Please allow 60 minutes per journey if you book more than one!
Big decisions come with big diplomatic consequences. Every act counts as you unpick one of the most difficult decisions we had to take against one of our closest allies. What will be the cost to ensure survival?
Infiltrate the offices of the war rooms typists and switchboard operators. Those with privileged access to strategic information, to uncover the puzzle of the missing ships, and all those souls on board. What are we protecting?
Total war is not just waged between two armies but between the hearts and minds of two populations. Everything is in question as you unravel who is behind the propaganda radio network, who they work for, and how did we get a U-Boat without a fight?
Make sure you have a stomach for confrontation as we send you to gather information on the heart-wrenching choices that were made to allow the British rescue effort from Dunkirk. What sacrifices had to be made for the greater good?
All is not what it seems. An unidentified body and falsified strategic documents have been discovered. We need you to uncover the hidden goings on of a mission so mad that it may just have tipped the balance of the war itself. What will you uncover?
Get the Look
Get the Look
Dress to impress in your finest 1940s costumes to fully immerse yourself in a time where every second counts and every decision could change the course of the war.
We’ll be in touch before the event with details of the character we’d like you to play.
For inspiration on wartime fashion and the world you are about to enter, search our collections.
London's Secret War Rooms
London's Secret War Rooms
During the Second World War, a group of basement offices in Whitehall served as the centre of Britain’s war effort. The complex, known as the Cabinet War Rooms, was occupied by leading government ministers, military strategists, telephonists, secretaries and prime minister Winston Churchill.
Following the devastation of the First World War, military planners feared up to 200,000 casualties from bombing in the first week of a future war.
Plans to evacuate the prime minister, cabinet and essential staff from London were drawn up as early as the 1920s. However, concern that Londoners would feel abandoned if the prime minister and government were in a safe place and issues about the speed of evacuation, led to a search for an emergency shelter in central London.
In June 1938 the New Public Offices building was selected. It was near Parliament, with a strong steel frame and a large basement.
Only a few, specially chosen people knew its secrets...until now.
The immersive storytelling is inspired by real life stories, experienced and lived through by staff at Churchill War Rooms during the Second World War. Find out more about the real history behind Operation Black Door.
One of the UK’s leading immersive theatre companies, Wet Picnic creates high impact visual and physical theatre in any space, for everyone. Their trademark plays focus on human themes reflecting real life in all its forms. Wet Picnic have worked nationally and internationally with companies including The Wellcome Trust, The National Theatre, The Royal Opera House, Glastonbury Festival, Latitude, the Natural History Museum and more.
Please be aware that promotional filming and photography may take place at Operation Black Door. For more information on how IWM stores and uses images taken at events, please see our T&Cs.
About Operation Black Door
Operation Black Door has been created to enjoy together and would make a perfect gift for 2022. When booking you will be asked to book a journey first. Make sure there is enough availability for you and your gift recipient before you book. You must both be booked onto the same journey if you'd like the same Operation Black Door experience.
We'll send you more details on your storyline and character journey after you've booked and in the countdown to the event. This will include recommendations for how you can take part - if you'd like to - but we won't be telling you all the story! We'll keep our surprises close - for you to enjoy on the night!
If you book between November 2021 and January 2022, expect to receive your event briefing and details of how to download the event app in February 2022. Please make sure the email address provided when booking is active and regularly monitored.
Yes! For the best event experience we'll be sending you a link to an app download for your mobile. The app will contain audio so it is important to remember to bring your own earphones or headset to enjoy all the content.
Mobile phone signal is limited in the Churchill War Rooms, although Wi-Fi is available. Where possible, please download the app before the evening.
Look out for your pre-event email in February 2022 for further details, which will include a briefing and information on how to download the app to enjoy on the evening.
We have planned these events with Covid-safety in mind and numbers are limited for each night. Please do refer to the latest government advice when booking tickets, and before the event, so we can all do our best to keep each other safe.
No, your ticket is for the evening event only, not for general daytime admission.
The Churchill War Rooms is accessible to those with mobility issues. To enter, we recommend you make your way to our front entrance via Birdcage Walk by St James Park. Once inside, the historic Churchill War Rooms is wheelchair accessible throughout, however, please note the narrowest corridor is 68cm, and the tightest corner is 90 degrees. Accessible toilet facilities are available at basement level and seating is available at intervals throughout the building. Owing to the nature of the event, Operation Black Door may not be suitable for those with visual or hearing impairments. This event will also contain strobe-like lighting effects. If you’d like to, you can bring a registered carer or personal assistant to accompany you for free. If you have any queries or would like to discuss any access issues please contact us.
In the event that Operation Black Door needs to be cancelled following government advice and COVID-19 updates, we will inform ticketholders of our refund policy. Please ensure you actively use and monitor the email account you provide when confirming your eticket.
All tickets or reservations are non-refundable and non-transferable. Please read our response to the COVID-19 pandemic regarding the cancellation of the event by IWM following government advice.
IWM reserves the right to make any changes or alterations to the event times, location or content of the event to ensure you have a safe, unique and excellent experience.
No, the experience has been created to be enjoyed by everyone, whatever your interest or knowledge in history.
Booking is only available in advance online. Tickets will close the day before each event date to ensure you have time to receive and read the pre-event briefing email. With limited capacity for each time slot and story, we advise to book as soon as possible. Tickets will sell out fast.