Bristol Theatre Reviews

REVIEW: Horrible Histories Terrible Tudors Bristol Hippodrome

Horrible Histories Terrible Tudors Bristol Hippodrome:

Simon Nock, Lisa Allen, Jamie Sheasby and Izaak Cainer expertly brought Terry Deary’s Horrible world alive on stage in this buoyant children’s show based on the books and TV show of the same name.

It was so enjoyable that I thought it would be really interesting to see this company parody the current events and politics of our own time.

The Birmingham Stage Company is well known for its deft telling of the Horrible Histories stories, bringing the dark and disgusting elements of past times to the stage with panache.

The history of the Tudor period seems so fanciful and unlikely in 2019. I can’t even imagine how one would go about planning a war, getting divorced or creating the Church of England from Catholicism without even a mobile phone to text from.

With all their flaws, I was suddenly quite grateful for our healthcare, legal system and freedom of speech. Definitely healthcare, which has clearly come a long way from eating spiders covered in butter. We no longer favour combustion for dealing with murderers or burn holes in people’s ears for telling stories. The reformation did enjoy fire setting is what I took away from the show.

In a tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of the books, Terrible Tudors follows the fates of the monarchy of the time. We have the Horrible Henrys, awful Elizabeth and a close to the bone row between the Catholics and the Protestants.

Interspersed with the fast paced historical facts is background information about the time period in all its gory detail, to the utter delight of the young audience.

In the second half, the show threw a curveball to the format by introducing a 3D backdrop with animated effects. There was no time for boredom to set in with fireworks exploding in the auditorium, cannon balls flying during the Spanish Armada and a few gentle jumpscares.

This show is the perfect start to the school holidays. It’s at the Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 27 July running alongside Horrible Histories – Awful Egyptians.

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