REVIEW: Horrible Histories

First published in Entertainments

MAD monarchs, crazy crusaders and idiotic antics abounded at the Mayflower as Horrible Histories took over the stage last week.

Barmy Britain, Birmingham Stage Company’s latest show based on Terry Deary’s hit book and TV series, took us from brave Boudicca through the rampaging Romans and Vikings up to the lesser known antics of Queen Victoria (although they may have made up the breakdancing part).

Horrible Histories knows how to catch the attention of children – grisly guts, farting and water pistols always do the trick – while making sure they learn a bit along the way.

And they also take the opportunity to challenge a few of the preconceptions about history that their parents may have picked up.

Pretty much everyone who goes along will learn something and it’ll probably be something that raises their eyebrows and makes them ponder some aspect of the past in a new and unexpected way.

The kids in the audience seemed to have a fine old time, probably more so in the second half with the addition of 3D effects, and some parts of the show – the Burke and Hare grave robber song to the tune of Postman Pat being one that will stick in the mind for a very long time – were truly inspired.

History should always be this much fun.

MORWENNA BLAKE

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