Civic Theatre, Chelmsford
Thursday 25th October 2012
The Horrible Histories franchise is hugely popular in all it's various media. Originating from an ever-growing series of books by Terry Deary, first published when I was in the age range of the target audience, there is now also a BAFTA winning TV series and this slick live stage version too.
The Tudor period is rich in all things horrible for the team to whip the children up with, starting from the fall of Richard III right through to the coronation of James I. Packed full of facts, the children learn without even realising as they are entertained by the energetic foursome. Fast-paced and dynamic, the performers are in complete control throughout, encouraging the children to shout and join in when required but also able to quell the frenzied excitement when the show needed to move on.
Act 2 integrated fantastic 3D "Bogglevision" into the action. Excellently designed, the scenes had the children squealing as items seemed to fly straight at them out of the screens. A great way to immediately regain the energy built up before the interval.
Polished and professional this is a great introduction for children to both the designated period of history as well as to the thrills and spills of live theatre. Superb.