Advertisement

We love Horrible Histories – the TV programmes, the books and the stage shows, and we can’t wait to see the new film too! Has there ever been a better way of bring history to life for children – and their parents as well?

The great news is that the stage show is back with a double-header at the Bristol Hippodrome, where you can take your pick between Terrible Tudors and Awful Egyptians.

For no particular reason, we went for the Tudors and absolutely loved it. The Horrible Histories team are experts at making history become fun, fabulous and just way more interesting than any school teacher could manage. From Richard III up to the demise of Elizabeth I, we were treated to a souped up, trimmed down and thoroughly enjoyable potted telling of British history at a time of plenty of killings, lots of executions, plus a few battles, betrayals and an appearance by Shakespeare all thrown in.

Lisa Allen, Izaak Cainer and Simon Nock in Terrible Tudors by Birmingham Stage Company. Photo by Mark Douet

And of course, along the way you’re learning loads at the same time, and that’s the grown-ups as well as the children. My knowledge of this period of British history was just pants before this presentation, and now I feel I can hold my own up in the history section of the next pub quiz, particularly if it includes questions of questionable Tudor period medical treatments, dodgy sentences for strange law breaking and songs about Henry VIII, all of which were covered here.

Mix in some panto-style audience participation, a fair degree of 3D wizardry and a quite a generous amount of the use of the word ‘bum’, and the result is simply superb.

Our only regret was that we hadn’t bought tickets for the Awful Egyptians show as well.

Horrible Hsitories runs at the Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 27 July – then it’s history! Find out more here