Last night I took two 8 year olds and a 9 year old to watch Terrible Tudors at the Storyhouse Chester. The show is part of the Horrible Histories Live On Stage productions by the Birmingham Stage Company and crikey it’s good!
I was expecting the kids to like it, as Horrible Histories is on our television ALL THE TIME, but I wasn’t expecting to love it quite so much.
So what are Horrible Histories?
Horrible Histories Live on Stage is written by Terry Deary from his bestselling Horrible Histories books. Terry Deary is the world’s bestselling non-fiction author for children and one of the most popular children’s authors in the country. He has written 200 books which have been translated into 40 different languages. Over the past 25 years, his 50 Horrible Histories titles have sold over 25 million copies worldwide from China to Brazil.
Terrible Tudors Live on Stage
Terrible Tudors starts with Richard III and ends with the death of Elizabeth I, and completes all the wives of Henry 8th and Henry Tudor in two 45-minute acts. Like Horrible Histories books and TV show is can be pretty gruesome at times – executions, beheadings and blood spurting body parts, but all done with enough humour to take the edge of it.
Simon Nock, Izaak Cainer and Lisa Allen take on the roles of all the characters and are incredible. I simply loved Lisa Allen’s Queen Elizabeth I. We also came home singing Will.i.am Shakespeare’s I’ve Gotta Feeling; and cannot get the chant about Protestant v Catholic christainity out of my head.
Whilst my girls already knew the divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived rhyme about Henry 8th wives, the actions and the tune has added a new dimension to this.
During the interval you get 3D glasses to watch the second act in ‘Bogglevision’. This added another dimension to the show and I think it’s a clever way of keeping the kids engaged for the rest of the performance. Mine didn’t need that additional encouragement to stay with it, as they genuinely loved it, but I can see that it might help those with shorter attention spans.
During the second act you see the Spanish Armada coming at you; fireworks exploding and bricks heading towards your head. Low budget admittedly but nicely done.
What age is Horrible Histories Live on Stage Suitable for?
I would say at 6 mine would have felt this was a little gruesome for them, but I know other children that wouldn’t have. At 8 and 9 mine were the perfect age for Terrible Tudors as they spent the whole show saying ‘ that’s true that is Mummy, we did that at school the other day’. It brings the subject they’re learning at school to life.
We also loved the timing of the show at 5.30pm, with a 7.15pm finish this was perfect for young children. There are also matinees across the country and groups clearly aimed at school groups.
We weren’t intending to go to watch Awful Egyptians which invites you to meet the fascinating Pharaohs, gasp at the power of the pyramids, and discover the foul facts of death and decay with the meanest mummies in Egypt, but I’m really tempted to take them back.
It’s the history of Egypt with the nasty bits left in! Awful Egyptians runs from Wednesday 6 November to Friday 8 November 2019 at the Storyhouse Live.
Tickets are on sale now and range in price from £13.50 for children under 14, to £18.50 for adults. Each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY ABOUT HORRIBLE HISTORIES
‘A brilliantly fun piece of educational theatre that taught this
history graduate a few new things’
‘Is this any way for children to learn about history? Too right it is!
If lessons were always like this, kids would be queuing at the school gates!’
‘Mortgage the school if you have to. Ransom the governors, even.
No child or adult should be denied the chance to see this:
live theatre and history at its rip-roaring best’
Times Educational Supplement
‘These actors should be in every school history class across the land.
Or given how little most us know, maybe every living room!’
‘Wholly accessible, educating, entertaining and enjoyable,
Horrible Histories live on stage is a tour de force. Five stars out of five!’
Tuesday 5 November 2019 – Friday 8 November 2019
Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2AR
Tickets £13.50 children under 14 / £18.50 adults
Each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee
HORRIBLE HISTORIES: TERRIBLE TUDORS
Tuesday 5 November 2019 – Friday 8 November 2019
Tuesday 5 November 2019 at 5.30pm
Wednesday 6 November 2019 at 1.30pm
Thursday 7 November 2019 at 6pm
Friday 8 November 2019 at 10.30am
HORRIBLE HISTORIES: AWFUL EGYPTIANS
Wednesday 6 November 2019 – Friday 8 November 2019
Wednesday 6 November 2019 at 10.30am
Thursday 7 November 2019 at 10.30am
Friday 8 November 2019 at 6pm
HOW TO BOOK
Online: Visit www.storyhouse.com
By Phone: Call 01244 409 113
In person: Visit the Ticket Kiosks at Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2AR