I entered tentatively. Would I like the theatre production? I knew I enjoyed the TV Show. I asked myself whether it would be suitable for me, after all I am thirty eight years old. I remembered other great shows from my youth; comical, informative and, most of all, great fun.
The theatre was packed. There were children everywhere. It was stuffed with whippersnappers from rafter to rafter. The atmosphere was charged with the sort of excitement only children can create. I settled in for the show. On to the stage burst three lively characters, shortly joined by a more sensible female narrator. The actors’ high energy was perfectly attuned to the young audience.
The cast spoke excitedly about the gruesomeness to come and what to expect from the Horrible Histories of the Tudors. They launched into the main attraction, describing how Henry VIII came to the throne, his ancestors and many wives.
It’s clear why The Birmingham Stage Company are one of the country’s premiere production companies. They were extraordinary. They produce popular adaptations such as The Jungle Book and Roald Dahl favourites. The audience was not let down. There was plenty of gore and nastiness, which appealed to the children’s sensibilities. Encouraged to learn through songs, the children were also engaged by 3D images, called Bogglevision 3D, which leapt from the stage during the second half.
I learned something too. It definitely refreshed my knowledge of history and entertained me and made me laugh. I have to say, I even jumped a few times as skulls floated off the stage and fireworks burst over my head (in 3D of course).
The shows are adapted from Terry Deary’s best selling Horrible Histories books which are hugely popular. He is known as the world’s best selling non-fiction author for children and you can see why. Luckily, The Grand Theatre have Terry Deary for an exclusive book signing after the 2.30pm matinee performance this Saturday 16th March. So, make sure you are there for a chance not to be missed.
You can see The Terrible Tudors and The Vile Victorians at The Grand Theatre until the 17th March 2013. Go on I dare you.
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