Horrible Histories: The Best of Barmy Britain at the Lichfield Garrick Review

Reviewed by Cate Norris

Who knew history was so cool? Well, the Lichfield Garrick theatre (15-16 May 2017) have gone and gotten themselves a couple of show stopping, hip hopping, break dancing teachers, which saw Lichfield locals, in fits of laughter!

This diamond double act, take us on a journey throughout the history of Britain, proving that we Blighties are indeed batty. Starting at the Roman Empire, we then move to the Middle Ages, Tudor England, the Victorian Era and end at the present day. Along the way we meet Boudicca, King John, Henry viii, Guy Fawkes, Burke and Hare and Queen Victoria. A clever combination of role play, period costume, song, dancing and audience participation, ensure that fun is the theme, but the historical content is never lost.

My favourite scenes included the Bubonic plague, with this being highly interactive and involved great accents as well as my favourite ever quote from history ‘bring out yer dead’. I also enjoyed the Guy Fawkes scene, which incorporated a game in the style of ‘who wants to be a millionaire?’ but was aptly named ‘who wants to blow up parliament?’ The show stealer for me though, was the Hare and Burke scene. I had never heard about these two gentleman before, so I was thrilled to learn something new. This act also got my 11-year-old son’s seal of approval, we were both in stiches during the song, which was to the tune of postman pat- absolute genius. My son described the show as ‘funny, good and hilarious’.

Parents need to know that this show is only 75 minutes long, so it runs all the way through without an interval. This is ideal as the evening show doesn’t finish too late, but be sure to stock up on snacks, drinks and merchandise beforehand. Merchandise is on sale in the foyer and includes books, stationary, flags and booklets. The price range is £1 – £7. Be aware that the auditorium is absolutely heaving with incredibly excited children, you may get a flag repeatedly swung in your face, sneezed on or experience very, very loud screaming down your ear. I experienced all three and survived-just! Some parents were naughty too, looking at their phone screens every 5-10 minutes. I would advise thinking about where you want to be seated to avoid this. Front row could reduce being distracted by phone screens, whereas boxes or end of rows could provide distance from over excited children.

You haven’t lived until you have observed Queen Victoria twerk. I would definitely recommend this show. It was hugely entertaining, interactive and educational.

Rating: 4/5

For other shows at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre & Studio visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com.

Lichfield Garrick Theatre, Castle Dyke, Lichfield, WS13 6HR | 01543 412121

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