The second part of our Kids Week treat was coincidentally another Birmingham Stage Company production. We went to see one of B and E’s favourites, Horrible Histories. This was their first time experiencing a Live on Stage production rather than watching on tv. They were in familiar territory at the Garrick Theatre for More Best of Barmy Britain.
At 70 minutes long with no interval it’s perfect for younger children, whilst the humour lends itself to all ages.Two actors- Ashley Bowden and Laura Dalgleish take the audience through a fast paced journey through British history. Fortunately it’s the rollercoaster version. There was lots of variety in pace, the always popular audience interaction and participation, and the really horrible bits.
The two actors are fantastic in taking the variety of historical roles. They carefully craft each to life, appealing to their diverse audience.
For B and E, their favourite moments featured Queen Elizabeth I in disguise with sunglasses and Will.I.Am Shakespeare.The great part of the show, like the BBC series, is that it’s full of fun facts which make history real and memorable.
From Dick Turpin being caught because of his distinguishable handwriting, to fines being given and the severity based on colours worn.
The boys are as intrigued as they ever have been about what has gone before. And somehow I don’t regret giving E fodder to ask even more questions than his current daily rendition. One criticism I would have is that there were a few too many references which went over their heads. A sad reflection on having so few family tv shows and memorable hosts maybe but Alan Sugar and The Only Way is Essex were completely lost on my 6 year-olds. I was really sad about the Alan Sugar sketch because the boys are obsessed with learning about the world wars. The sketch didn’t seem to resonate with them without the character reference.
That said, there was still much learning and humour to be gained. From how place names reference times in history to the possibility of a Britain with no Christmas. There is much to be remembered when history is brought to you with so much energy and fun.
Horrible Histories – More Best of Barmy Britain is completely enjoyable and a great hook for more learning and fun. Whilst the boys have found the tv series, I’m looking forward to introducing them to the books.
Horrible Histories – More Best of Barmy Britain! is running at the Garrick Theatre, London until 2 September 2017. Performances are Monday 2pm & 4pm, Wednesday to Friday 11.30am, and Saturday & Sunday 10am & 12pm.
Tickets are available from the Box Office on 0330 333 4811 or www.nimaxtheatres.com