This summer holiday, Shaftesbury Avenue's Apollo Theatre hosts Horrible Histories: The Best of Barmy Britain. Rounding up the highlights of our country's diverse history into a very digestible 70 minutes, the fast-paced show even teaches older audience members a thing or two along the way.
This year marks the fifth run of Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain, making it the longest running children's production in West End history. The Birmingham Stage Company once again bring their high energy levels to entertain your little ones, whilst educating them (and yourselves) about our country's vast history.
Over a 1000 years of history is condensed down into a very enjoyable 70 minutes, with multiple costume changes, catchy songs to narrate the events, modern day references and a great deal of audience interaction. The two-man show is full of energy from start to finish (or 60 A.D to 2016, whichever way you look at it).
Starting with the story of almighty Boudica, the Celtic Queen who led the fight against the Romans, to the terrible love life of the Tudor King who longed for a son, the notorious Henry the Eighth. The audience then imagined the horror of living amongst the Black Death, before witnessing the four day raging Great Fire that swept across London. Each section was full of detailed facts and information, each worthy of a history lesson but disguised by the entertaining songs and dances along the way.
Modern day references are used throughout to keep the audience well and truly engaged. Highlights include King Henry the Eighth's rendition of Gangnam Style aptly entitled 'Tudor Style', Who Wants To Blow Up Parliament?, a game show devised to find out if Guy Fawkes would be successful in his plans and Queen Victoria rapping about her reign - yes, it is as ridiculous as it sounds.
The energetic pair, whose enthusiasm can not be faulted, include many chances for the audience to get involved too, by encouraging vocal responses, initiating singing competitions and teaching the audience a dance or two. Odds are you'll be leaving the theatre with a song about the plague stuck in your head.
Aside from the many over-animated, playground jokes, there are many points that will find the older audience members laughing aloud, with frequent mentions of the current Brexit troubles, and how Britain is still as barmy as ever. Culture Whisper especially enjoyed the last section, hypothetically looking at how the historic figures would act in modern day Britain - including an overjoyed Henry the Eighth scrolling through his online dating profile.
It may be one of the silliest, most ridiculous shows on the West End this summer holiday, but you're bound to learn more about our country's history in just over an hour than any class at school ever managed.
Suitable for ages 5+
|What||Horrible Histories, The Best of Barmy Britain|
|Where||Apollo Theatre, 31 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7ES | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Piccadilly Circus (underground)|
05 Aug 16 – 03 Sep 16, Show times vary
|Price||£15 - £22|
|Website||Click here for more information and to book|