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Horrible Histories characters
Henry VIII celebrating

Review: Horrible Histories

Grand Opera House, 6 June 2006
In the guise of an adult taking young children to the theatre, Carole Green had a legitimate reason for sitting in the audience of Horrible Histories - The Tudors. But as it turned out, you'd need a good excuse for NOT being there!

performance details

Production: The Terrible Tudors and the Vile Victorians are being performed separately.

Venue: Grand Opera House, York

Dates: 6 - 10 June 2006

Tickets: £10.50 - £14.50

Box office: 0870 6063595

It was with eager anticipation that Clare aged 10 and Michael aged 7 waited for the curtain to go up on the stage adaptation of the best selling children’s books “Horrible Histories” by Terry Deary.  We were in for a gruesome evening in the company of the “Terrible Tudors”.

As a grown up I did wonder how the books would transfer to the stage to entertain a very critical audience with an average age of 9. 

Well, it was very clever, we were introduced to Dr Dee with his travelling show and his companions Dross and Drab, who appeared on stage on the back of a cart, as if they were travelling entertainers from the time of the Tudors and proceeded to regale us with gory stories of the Terrible Tudors. 

Horrible Histories characters
Henry VIII & Anne Boleyn

They were joined by Ms Tree, who was there to make sure the Tudors were portrayed in a good light, and that things didn’t get too gruesome and frighten the children…. as you can imagine, she didn’t succeed…

At times it felt a bit like a pantomime with lots of references to York, interaction with the audience and songs with actions.  Every child will have left the theatre knowing that Henry VIII’s wives were 'Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived', which the children loved, and most, including Michael were still singing on the way out.

"Boggle Goggles on we were treated to a 3D extravaganza"

It was a wonderful evening, very funny and educational without realising it.  Clare and Michael were laughing and chuckling the whole way through, but the highlight of the night was definitely the second part.  We were told to make sure we got our “Boggle Goggles” during the interval... 

Boggle Goggles on we were treated to a 3D extravaganza. We had cannonballs and pieces of splintered ship thrown at us during the Spanish Armada, pictures of dead Tudor Kings and Queens floated towards us, we thought our heads would be chopped off as axes and swords swung, but the highlight was the “firework” display we were treated to at the end.

Neither Clare nor Michael could pick out one particular highlight as the whole experience was brilliant… But don’t take our word for it - go and see for yourself.

Carole Green

last updated: 09/06/06
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