Nobody Lost The Plot...The Gun Powder Plot!

Theatre Severn

Shrewsbury Castle

Three Inch Fools Present

The Gunpowder Plot


To put a play on in the round can expose theatre companies to all manner of conventions which previously they may not have encountered. After all, in a proscenium arched performance the audience is in one place: In the round, they are everywhere. However, these conventions offered no real challenge to the Three Inch Fools in fact they thrived as they blasted their way through their ensemble piece entitled, The Gunpowder Plot.

Set in the picturesque grounds of Shrewsbury Castle it was a good crowd that had turned out to enjoy the spectacle. It is such a sublime setting with the noise of the birds singing away in the ancient trees and the distant shouts of people on the station makes this a perfect Shrewsbury setting for a good romp into Britain’s seamier side of History.

Three Inch Fools are five players who between themselves play a plethora of parts to further explore the old favourite story of Guy Fawkes, Robert Catesby, and the other plotters. With some delightful little cameos, the cast were able to fully utilise their entirely full skillset as they not only had to act, but they also had to sing beautifully and all of them played an instrument of which there was a great range, from Cajon, through to Guitar to Whistles to Accordion; the music was superbly played and help create points of reference as well as delivering stunning sounding harmonies which just brought a sense of greatness about the piece.

The acting space as mentioned was in the round. Well almost, there was audience in a three-quarter circle around their almost triangular acting space. Space incidentally, throughout the entire performance was used with an exciting creativity which conjured up great halls, inns, open heath land too; it became everything. You may think how can you move the action forward with no real scenery to speak of? It’s a fair question and the answer is iconography. Allow a hat to represent someone, a cloak for the next and so on. By sticking to the character icons the audience learn quickly who is who and just a simple pair of gloves can move the drama forward. When watching an ensemble piece, it is worth bearing in mind the old edict, nothing happens on stage by accident (or at least shouldn’t) In this kind of pacey fast moving action piece, iconography is essential and must be kept uncomplicated and easy to follow. Three Inch Fools have a Masters in the art of Iconography and thus the piece kept pushing ever forward at a breakneck speed to enhance this highly enjoyable drama.

It's a real challenge to find a new angle to tell an old tale and T.I.F. should be congratulated for that achievement as they highlighted parts of history that are lesser known. It breathed new life into an old tale and turned it into a punchy, pacey, racy dash through a very dark time in our history when we foolishly believed that Papists were on mission to conquer the earth. 

This is a Four-Star Review

Owen J.Lewis




Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Three times Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet. See more on

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