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Greater London
posted/updated: 07 Feb 2019 -
Horrible Histories: Terrible Tudors and Awful Egyptians - ★★★★
Written by Terry Deary. Produced by Birmingham Stage Company
society/company: Churchill Theatre Bromley (professional) (directory)
performance date: 06 Feb 2019
venue: Churchill Theatre Bromley
reviewer/s: Mr & Mini Sardines (Sardines review)


Terrible Tudors by Birmingham Stage Company. Photo by Mark Douet

★★★★

Whether it’s the Savage Stone Age, Groovy Greeks, Rotten Romans or Vicious Vikings, the more putrid, blood-curdling and nasty the better – at least that’s what an auditorium full of children think as Birmingham Stage Company tours the country with its productions of Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories live onstage.

This week, it’s Bromley’s turn to witness the Terrible Tudors and Awful Egyptians alternating in their stage-time to both educate and entertain in equal measure. Indeed, so popular is the brand, the Churchill Theatre is already sold out for much of this weekend’s performances and theatregoers are advised to contact the box office for news on returns. Otherwise, today and tomorrow are much safer bets – albeit school nights (the 7pm start times do mean earlier 9pm-ish finishes).

When it comes to the Tudors (the option for yesterday’s press night), Henry VIII does of course rightly draw much of the focus, whether it’s the savage medieval practises of the time or his infamous marital timeline (“Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived” is a mantra nobody at the show is ever likely to forget in a hurry). But it’s interesting how there’s always something to teach the adults too, especially when it comes to how the crown passed from family to family in true barbaric fashion over the centuries.

Criminal punishments, medical practises, general health (or lack of), executions (Mary Queen of Scots’ fate being particularly macabre), 3D vision, plus plenty of silly slapstick are all present to keep the kids attention. And it all works brilliantly, just like the BBC TV series.

The onstage trio with endless energy and incredible pace are the hillarious Simon Nock, Izaak Cainer and Lisa Allen – with the addition of Jamie Sheasby. All deserve great praise for performing so well in front of theatre’s toughest crowd… children; and it’s not even panto season anymore.

It’s all done very well and I can assure you both children and adults will love it. Mini Sardines – now 5 years old – had a ball, especially at the sillier bits (Mention the word ‘bum’ and you’re guaranteed to have your audience rolling in the aisles. Keep mentioning it and the auditorium risks going into meltdown!). The only gripe I’d have is watch out for the cardboard 3-d glasses; they’re usually filthy and covered in greasy finger marks. Apart from that, bravo!

Info, tickets and more at:
churchilltheatre.co.uk/Online/tickets-horrible-histories-bromley-2019 
www.birminghamstage.com/shows/terrible-tudors-awful-egyptians 

Terrible Tudors by Birmingham Stage Company. Photo by Mark Douet









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