Why should go and see ‘Horrible Histories Terrible Tudors’ at Hull New Theatre

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We have just returned from a great night’s entertainment at the theatre this evening.  This week it’s the turn of Horrible Histories to entertain and educate the kids (and parents/carers). It being a production aimed at Primary age children, I dragged a couple of children along.  Actually they didn’t take much persuading as they were both fully aware of the Horrible Histories books and TV show and were excited to be going to see the show.

For those not in the know, they are a fun way for children to learn historical facts with lots of blood, guts, farts, and all the rude stuff kids love. Horrible Histories educate in a fun way with humour and silly songs.  By the interval this evening my youngest companion,  Reagan was reciting how each of Henry VIII’s wives met their maker. His mum will probably be sick of the ditty the kids learned this evening but he will always remember “Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived.” I just hope he remembers this if he goes to a pub quiz when he’s older!!!

The cast consisted of just three talented singers, actors and dancers.  Simon Nock as Dr Dee, Izaak Cainer as Drab and Lisa Allen as Dross all ably supported off stage by Jamie Sheasby. The cast were on and off stage so quickly playing a range of Tudor characters from King Henry VII through to Queen Elizabeth; various Tudor everyday serfs, criminals, judges, patients and Shakespeare, to name a few.  They must be the experts of the art of fast changing costumes (especially Izaak as he must have played three different characters in ten minutes and all in swift succession).

There was lots of audience participation from cheering (and booing) to joining in with the singing. Another catchy song recited all the way home in the car was about Henry VIII.  “Henry was a big fat man, stuffed his face with the frying pan.”  Kids love anything that rhymes and loved joining in with the singing.  If that little ditty is not being sung in the school playgrounds by the end of the week I will be very surprised.

In the second half the audience all donned 3D glasses (provided by the show) as 3D technology was utilised. We were bombarded by fireworks, bombs, rubble, blood, portraits all ‘hurled’ at the audience I jumped out of my skin as a cannon ball came careering towards me during the Spanish Armada, cleverly portrayed in gory 3D glory. Horrible Histories craftily reviewed the Tudor histories with an elderly Queen Elizabeth 1 wailing about her family as the family portraits were projected in 3D at the audience. It’s a great way to learn without realising your are learning. The kids loved the 3D special effects and were talking about them all the way home.

The paper programme itself was geared heavily to children and in the style of Horrible Histories. Lots of puzzles, drawings, fun facts and cartoons and the kids loved looking through this as they waited for the show to start. In the foyer was a good selection of Horrible Histories merchandise for the kids so don’t forget to take some cash along.

Hailey and Reagan who accompanied me this evening loved the show so much that they are desperate to go and see Awful Egyptians which is the second show this talented company have brought to Hull. I asked which parts the children loved best,  Hailey loved the 3D effects as it made her jump in her seat and move out of the way of projectiles coming at her. Reagan loved the songs the most. He loved singing along. Their favourite characters were Queen Elizabeth 1 and the Spanish King Philip. I couldn’t pick a favourite character. All of them were so good. All encouraged the children to participate and learn lots of facts  and English history.  We all had a great time and this is definitely a great show for kids and adults alike.

There’s lots of flashing lights in this show. Explosions,strobes, so if you are sensitive be warned.

The shows are on every evening plus matinees until Saturday 20th.  Evening shows start at 7pm and were finished by the respectable time for children of 8.45pm.  Tickets start at £14.

The shows are aimed at both kids and their parents, with jokes aimed at both age groups.  You will have a laugh and you never know you might learn something; I did, in the gory section! Don’t miss this fun show.

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