Why you need to see Horrible Histories at the Belgrade Theatre

Why you need to see Horrible Histories at the Belgrade Theatre

Postby dutchman » Thu May 31, 2018 8:51 pm

It's got everything from poo jokes to a Shakespearean version of I Gotta Feeling


Gore, guts and glory - three words that sum up not only this sceptered isle's past but also this rip-roaring Horrible Histories show.

More Best of Barmy Britain from the Birmingham Stage Company is currently playing at Coventry's Belgrade Theatre.

And it's the perfect slice of irreverent fun with which to entertain your youngsters during half-term.

Written by Terry Deary together with Birmingham Stage Company founder Neal Foster, More Best of Barmy Britain is the latest show to be adapted from Terry Deary’s bestselling Horrible Histories books series.

To date, he has written a total of 200 books, translated into more than 40 different languages, and his 50 Horrible Histories titles have sold a whopping 25 million copies worldwide, in countries from China to Brazil.

Just two actors - the brilliant, Rowan Atkinson-esque Benedict Martin-Rex and larger-than-life Pip Chamberlin-Roger - take us on a whirlwind journey through the ages, introducing us to the Terrible Tudors and the Vicious Vikings, the Rotten Romans and the Vile Victorians, ending with an Apprentice-style interview with General Douglas Haig of Frightful First World War fame. Spoiler alert- Alan Sugar was not impressed.

It's a simple set-up, with the double-handed show revolving around a fairly sparse set and relying on costume changes with minimal props to hop from era to era.

It works because the two actors are so engaging, switching their accents as often as their attire to inhabit all manner of characters, from Roman chefs to Queen Elizabeth and William Shakespeare.

Music plays a huge part, with a great singalong based around British place names and what they mean, while our most famous playwright transforms into a pop icon for his heavily rewritten version of I Gotta Feeling. Eat your heart out, Will.i.am.

Add in a bunch of audience participation, plenty of poo jokes, some nods to the adults in the audience and a heavy dose of singalong fun, and this is a real winner.

Learning's never been so much fun.

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