Theatre

Horrible Histories: Terrible Tudors at the New Victoria Theatre Woking Review

20-23 November 2019

Reviewed by Katie Allen

My daughter is a big fan of the Horrible Histories CBBC television program and is desperate to see the recent feature film they released. I thought I’d surprise her (and a school friend and her mum) with a trip to see the Horrible Histories: Terrible Tudors live show at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking.

I apologise to anyone entering the theatre/cinema complex at the same time as us. We’d surprised the girls and their screams of excitement were quite ear-splitting.

As we took our seats in the packed-out auditorium the title of the show with an axe covered in blood was projected onto the back of the stage along with sound effects to match.

The show started with three actors entering the stage (Lisa Allen – Dross, Izaak Cainer – Drab, Neal Foster – Dr Dee). We soon found out this was the total company and all of them played multiple characters bringing the story of the Tudors to life. Neal Foster was billed as an understudy but having looked at the souvenir brochure I can see he’s also the company manager – such a talented chap and no wonder he knew the show inside out.

The show took us through the potted histories of the Tudors from Richard the Third to Elizabeth the First. The stories were told with fun props, costumes, songs and dances and, in the second act, 3D projection. The humour is very much like the tv show, as you would expect, with little asides for the adults in audience which was appreciated. Lots of poo and bum jokes which the largely 8-9 year old audience lapped up. There was even a panto style song battle at the end of in Act One with the earworm “Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived” which I’m sure I’ll be hearing from my daughter for many more weeks!

I would say the show was aimed at Junior School age children. Our two, 6 year old, guests were a little scared of some of the more gory sections and the 3D projection but having said that they were both keen to see the company’s other show “Awful Egyptians” so I don’t think it affected them too adversely. It would be great to tie in visiting with what they’re learning at school as it’s great way for them to learn the History in a fun way.

We love the New Victoria Theatre in Woking. If you’re more used to the older style theatre with small seats and no legroom, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised at this modern space. The theatre itself is within a shopping centre and next to a cinema giving a great atmosphere as you walk into the box office and allowing many options for dinner pre-show. There are bars and toilets on many levels and the middle level sometimes has a piano player playing show tunes which adds a sophisticated ambiance reminding me of a cruise ship.

We usually drive and park in the Peacock’s shopping centre multi-storey next door costing just £3 if you enter the car park after 6pm (there’s a flat rate of £1.50 after 7pm). The show starts at 6:30pm and the theatre is just a short lift ride and walk away so easily doable.

Rating: 4/5

Tickets cost from £13 (plus £3.65 transaction fee).

Horrible Histories: Terrible Tudors is at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking from 20-23 November 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/new-victoria-theatre or call the box office on 0844 871 7645.

New Victoria Theatre, The Ambassadors, Peacocks Centre, Woking, Surrey, GU21 6GQ

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