REVIEW: Fun and frolics bring gory Tudor history to life for Lancashire youngsters

Horrible Histories at the Charter Theatre
Horrible Histories at the Charter Theatre
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There was a mixture of mixture of excitement and abhorration at Preston's Charter Theatre as youngsters came face to face with characters from Britain's murky royal yesteryear.

Using actors and 3D special effects - which include a cannon ball, splintered wood and blood spatters shooting towards the audience - Horrible Histories is a fun and grisly opportunity for youngsters across Lancashire to hear and see the shocking stories that form part of our past.

As its name implies, the story follows one of the most famous Royal families in British history - the 'Terrible' Tudors, and is based on the famous series of Scholastic Horrible histories books penned by children's authors Terry Deary, Peter Hepplewhite, and Neil Tonge.

Historical figures and events from the Tudor period were brought to life on stage, from horrible Henry VIII to evil Elizabeth I.

During the 90 minute show, which is aimed at children 5 and upwards, the actors cleverly retell some of the most gruesome and disgusting tales in Britain's history in a humorous and engaging way.

The audience can discover all the foul facts about the Terrible Tudors, including how and why people were killed, Tudor torture and which slang words the Tudors used.

With a heap of extra-horrible blood and gore to enthrall younger viewers, the performance seemed to be a huge hit with generations young and old!

And despite the horrors of bygone years, Birmingham Stage Company's thrilling adaptation had the audience in stitches as their colourful, believable characters, pranced across the stage.

The script was full of twists and turns as just three actors swapped and changed costumes to tell the tale of the barbaric Tudor family.

Children laughed raucously at the funny songs - no doubt some parents still had them stuck in their heads long after the play finished!

Fun and frolics aside, the show provides a talking point and is educational, but in an engaging and fun way.

It runs until Saturday at the Charter Theatre/Guild Hall.

STEF HALL

Horrible Histories: Terrible Tudors

Birmingham Stage Company

Charter Theatre, Preston

Tuesday, November 13