REVIEW: Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain

MHDE'Barmy Britain at The Belgrade Theatre in Coventry
MHDE'Barmy Britain at The Belgrade Theatre in Coventry

This is a new Horrible Histories show and the third in the Barmy Britain series and, although there is some familiar material, most of it is fresh and really enhanced by designer Jacqueline Trousdale’s astonishingly realistic Bogglevision 3D drawings and animations.

And it’s the usual irreverent, funny, fact filled mix. From the shocking - such as the 60,000 executed at Tyburn and the Black Death - to the hysterical, there is never a dull moment in this fast-paced romp through British history as only Horrible Histories author Terry Deary can deliver it. TV settings, pantomime-style interaction, water pistols, football chants and comedy songs all add to the blend. The Civil War song is particularly good and Burke and Hare incongruously singing to the Postman Pat tune is a moment of comic inspiration. We also get a camp Guy Fawkes, Henry VIII as a petulant schoolboy puppet and Queen Victoria rapping, all of it good fun.

Playing to children is one of the hardest jobs in the business but it’s made to look simple for these four talented actors playing off each other.

There is still time to book your tickets for Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain which plays at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry until tomorrow (Saturday).