Coming in 2022

Timed admission

Churchill War Rooms

We want to offer you the very best event experience possible. To make sure we can keep this promise, we have made the difficult decision to postpone our exciting new immersive event experience, Operation Black Door, until 2022. Tickets will go on sale later this year. Be the first to know and book by joining our mailing list.  

 

 

Enter the secret world of Operation Black Door, a brand new, after-hours, immersive event experience with a strictly limited run. Presented by Imperial War Museums and Wet Picnic. Coming to Churchill War Rooms in 2022.

Social Distancing Measures

Your safety is our priority. Please read about the social distancing measures we have put in place for this event.

The Immersive Event Experience

A tunnel at the Churchill War Rooms

The Immersive Event Experience

Enter the secret world where decisions will make history.

After dark, the doors of Churchill War Rooms will open onto a story kept from public eyes since 3 June 1940.

Experience an evening of intrigue, decision-making and miscommunication to fire your imagination. Where truth meets a new world, open to interpretation, in our limited run, new immersive event.

As the past blurs with reality, step back in time and dress to be part of the picture, from telephonists and officers to Secret Operation Executives.

Based on real stories from history - experience Churchill War Rooms like never before.

Your Challenge

A map table at Churchill War Rooms
IWM

Your Challenge

The year is 1940.

It is a critical point in the Second World War, where several events and key missions took place. Together, we can uncover what went down, in the secret underground war rooms, to make history. Solve covert missions as you take on the role of operatives as part of a top-secret government department. These challenges will take you through labyrinth corridors, encountering historic characters in the very rooms where crucial decisions were made during the Second World War.

History could repeat itself. Unless you step in to help.

 

Outstanding Theatrical Storytellers

Immersive Event Experiences from Wet Picnic
© Wet Picnic

Outstanding Theatrical Storytellers

One of the UK’s leading immersive theatre companies, Wet Picnic creates high impact visual and physical theatre in any space, for everyone. They 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.

400,000 people over the last 2 years have experienced Wet Picnic’s trademark plays focusing on human themes reflecting real life in all its forms. 

Will you be next? 

Tickets will go on sale later this year for a strictly limited run in 2022. Stay connected by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or our eNews to be the first to know when tickets go on sale.

London's Hidden War Rooms

Cabinet War Rooms visitor book containing signature of King George VI
© IWM (Documents.92)

London's Hidden 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, but 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...

Will you play your part?

Silk scarf from IWM shop decorated with a D-Day map

Will you play your part?

You will need to act as if you are part of the team, you must not give yourself away. The good news is, that everything was so secret, they weren't even sure who was down there themselves. The easiest way not to be seen? Dress the part.

We’ll be in touch to send details of the character we’d like you to play after you've booked your ticket. Immersing yourself in the storytelling whilst hiding yourself from view. 

Browse our online shop for clothing and accessories to help you find your look. All products are inspired by our collections. As a charity, your purchase will help more stories to be told. 

IWM’s curators and historians have been involved in the development of this event to give you the most authentic experience possible. Discover our stories to find out more about war time fashion and the world you are about to enter. 

 

IWM Shop
Shop our range of gifts inspired by Winston Churchill, from mugs and books, to t-shirts, cufflinks and the famous bow tie.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens during Operation Black Door?

What occurs in the government’s underground headquarters during wartime is top secret and we are unable to divulge the content of the evening at this time. You will, however, be contacted nearer the time of the event with more information about your mission. Please make sure the email address provided when booking is active and regularly monitored.

Does Operation Black Door take place in the Churchill War Rooms?

Yes, the event takes place within the site itself. You will not only be enjoying this event but also roaming the Churchill War Rooms, walking through the same corridors that Winston Churchill did during the Second World War.

Does my ticket include general admission?

No, your ticket is for the evening event only, not for general daytime admission.

How long does Operation Black Door last?

Operation Black Door runs for approximately 60 minutes.

Do I have to know about Churchill and the Second World War to take part?

No, the experience has been created to be enjoyed by everyone.

Can I book tickets on the door?

Booking is only available in advance online. 

If I book a later time slot do I miss out on anything earlier in the evening?

No, Operation Black Door provides each visitor with their own unique journey.

Is Operation Black Door suitable for children?

The age guidance for this event is 18 years and over. Under 18s will not be admitted to this event.

Will it be accessible?

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.

Who has created Operation Black Door?

Operation Black Door is a collaboration between IWM and Wet Picnic.

Wet Picnic are the theatre company behind the Natural History Museum’s immersive take over Crime Scene Live. They have worked nationally and internationally with companies including The Wellcome Trust, The National Theatre, The Royal Opera House, Glastonbury Festival, Latitude and more.

IWM’s curators and historians have been involved in the development of the event to give you the most authentic experience possible.

What time should I arrive?

Please ensure you arrive 15 minutes before your time slot. We cannot guarantee entry after your time slot has passed.

Can I bring a bag with me?

Only small bags can be carried on your person during the event. A cloakroom will be available free of charge, although items are left at the guest’s own risk. For Security purposes, please note that bag checks will take place upon your arrival to the event.

Can I bring my own food and drinks?

We ask that you refrain from bringing food and drink aside from clear water in screw top bottles into the Churchill War Rooms. There will, however, be a cash bar and bar snacks inside.

Am I able to use my mobile phone during the event?

Mobile phone signal is limited in the Churchill War Rooms, although Wi-Fi is available. Please refrain from using your mobile phone during the performances.

Can I take photos during the event?

You are welcome to take photos and videos at our museums for personal, non-commercial use but please refrain from doing so during the performances and do not use flash or tripods. Our museums can get busy at times and we therefore ask that you do not film people without their permission. Please observe signage indicating where photography and filming is not permitted.

Will IWM take photos during the event?

Filming and photography may be taking place at the event for IWM or Wet Picnic’s marketing and publicity purposes. If you have any concerns about this or do not wish to be photographed, please speak to a member of staff at the event.

Will I be able to cancel or refund my ticket?

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.

Will this event run in light of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Operation Black Door's 2021 dates have been postponed. We will be back in 2022! Keep in touch and be the first to know when tickets go on sale by signing up to our eNews.

Refunds

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.

I have a ticket to a postponed event date. Can I book onto a 2022 experience?

We will be contacting people directly to refund bookings made for March 2021.