We all know and love Horrible Histories, a TV programme that teaches kids (and their parents) about the gruesome history of Britain. Never ones to shy away from a fart joke, Horrible Histories proves that discovering our past can be fascinating and that its teaching need never be boring or dry.
Horrible Histories Live brings More Best of Barmy Britain to all corners of the country and this weekend, the madcap team landed at the Playhouse, Weston-super-Mare, to an appreciative audience of every age. Told by two performers, this is a whistle stop of 2000 years of this island’s stinky, deadly and downright odd history, from Roman cookery (Manky Chef) right up to the mistakes of General Haig at the Somme (here interviewed a-la-Dragon’s Den by Lord Sugar).
At 70 minutes, this show is the perfect length for young viewers, who get to sing along to the always entertaining and trademark Horrible Histories songs, along the way learning interesting facts, such as the origins of British place names. Who knew that Charles II would be such an accomplished rapper in ‘Restoration for the Nation’? And what about those Puritans, “You’ll never see a Puritan showing his bum”?
Quick change artistry is key here – so many costumes! Exactly how would Elizabeth I look in disguise (Undercover Monarch)? And why did so many people die in Victorian Soho (clue, poo is involved)?
The kids were entertained in this effortless theatre trip. My daughter turned to me a few times to tell me that she knew about this period or that. My only concern is the price of tickets and the fear that many local families would be unable to pay the entrance fee.
Theatre as Educator? Definitely
Check out Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain website
Find out what else is on at the Playhouse, Weston, here