HomeEntertainmentDeva Roman Experience Review: A Rejuvenated Attraction

Deva Roman Experience Review: A Rejuvenated Attraction

Following a big refurbishment the Deva Roman Experience invited us down to experience the brand new format of their attraction which takes guests back through over 2000 years of history. Here’s our Deva Roman Experience review.

Deva Roman Experience Review

Introducing a brand new theatrical walkthrough at the Deva Roman Experience.

Replacing a more traditional guided tour guests will meet various characters from Roman history and will indulge in history in a unique, fun and entertaining way.

Guests will encounter seven special shows involving actors, special effects and cutting-edge projection mapping technology.

Deva Roman Chester

There is also a real archaeology site to explore at the end where everyone at all ages can dust for their own pieces of history as you journey back through time, 2000 years ago to Roman Britannia.

The attraction officially opens to the public on July 21st but we were able to attend the technical rehearsals where the core of the experience is in place but will be tweaked dependent on guest feedback.

What stood out for me immediately was the change in set quality at Deva Roman Experience, just simply replacing a standard bulb with a flickering one gives that living fire effect and mixed with the solid theming and lighting combines for an immersive experience.

Deva Experience

Onboard a ship one minute to being in an amphitheatre watching a Gladiator do battle and even getting trained to become a roman soldier all feature in this walkthrough experience. Visit the bathhouse and a roman street and you’re just about complete.

Deva has spent 40 years as a museum and this unique twist on the standard attraction feels like a much welcomed addition.

The experience is now much more interactive with everyone in the group getting involved as well as the odd scene where individuals will be chosen to take part in some Roman ritual of some kind.

Deva Chester Review

Audio effects and smell pods recreate various smells of the Roman era and I rather enjoyed my visit and felt more immersed in history rather than simply reading it on a plaque.

I personally find it hard to digest information if an attraction is too text heavy, I’m a visual learner and find it much easier to participate in something or be surrounded by something in order for me to learn.

With it being technical rehearsals there were a few little niggles such as a few audio volume issues and a few lines of the script being muddled in addition to actors racing through the script with little in the way of pacing but that’s all what a technical rehearsal is. It’s a way to display the product to members of the public and fine tune it accordingly.

Deva Roman Chester

Deva also had a range of merchandise on display including Roman rubber ducks, books to read and colouring books for children in addition to jewellery. When walking in we wandered straight past the merchandise so either we are completely oblivious or they need to be put in a more prominent eye catching location.

Children will absolutely love the new DEVA format with lots of actor interactions and then a space at the end where children (and big kids alike) can dress up like Romans and explore a traditional museum at the end.

Now that the experience is now actor-led I feel as though the two scenes at the end feel very much out of place.

A projection mapped cinema show around a dig site was interesting but with fancy effects on the ruins, a screen to watch and audio to listen to it was a bit overwhelming. It felt like there was too much going on and after all the fun stuff we’d just witnessed it got very boring, very fast thereafter.

Check out our VLOG of our visit including permission we were given to film the introductory monologue along with the archeology and museum section.


The archaeology section was great to walk past and look at but was too narrow to hang around and dust for items as you just feel like you’re getting in other peoples way. This bit seemed so far from what we’ve just experienced and the museum at the end was just a fun little space for kids rather than anything too informative or intriguing.

Deva’s heart now lies in its interactive walkthrough and once the actors leave you it quickly declines in quality but for £10 per person it really is a steal and you get a good bang for your buck. 

Arriving in the fortress of DEVA Victrix, they will be led through a meticulously-designed set by a crew of characters, immersing their senses in a Roman bath house, market street and amphitheatre – watching the drama unfold as Gladiators fight it out to the death.

Rowan Arnold, performance manager at Big Heritage told Chester Standard:

Our professionally trained actors have worked tirelessly to create shows which are both engaging and educational in a fun and immersive environment which allows guests to see, hear, smell, and feel 2000 years of Roman history.

Deva Roman Experience Review by Sean Evans

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