Ever wondered what Monty Python crossed with a caper through history and aimed at ‘tweens would look like? Wonder no more - for Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain at the Apollo Theatre delivers your answer and it’s HALF price on Kidadl this week!
Suitable for kids from 5 to 14, this show is a series of hilarious sketches covering some of the most eccentric escapades in British history. You’ll learn about everyone from the Vikings and Pagans, to Richard III, Queen Elizabeth I, Samuel Pepys, the Victorians and much more. The lead actors switch roles, costumes, characters and accents in seconds and the play fizzes with energy throughout.
The non-stop action is dosed with a hearty measure of toilet humour that led to belly laughs from my boys, especially when it came to the rap about the work of the “soil-men” (toilet cleaners employed in the Victorian era). Once you’ve experienced this rap, set to Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty”, about clearing squalid bogs, you’ll have a whole new perspective on 21st-century hygiene!
And the songs don’t end there.. with many a humorous ditty thrown into the show and a whole range of musical styles to enjoy. We love visiting the theatre, and our kids are lucky to have experienced plenty of shows, but I have rarely seen them this engaged and animated by the action, pace and humour of a performance. Worth noting that the show lasts 70 minutes and is interval-free (hence snacks and ice creams are sold as you walk in), and that it’s set in the perfect location on Shaftesbury Avenue to make a day trip of it.
We combined our visit with an hour-long play at the LEGO store in Leicester Square, and a trip to the M&M store opposite where my mind was blown by the sheer variety of merchandise that one brand can create, and the fact that I had never seen so much chocolate, coated in so many colours, in one room before. I am now the proud owner of M&M chopsticks - which my toddler is delightedly using for every meal - along with a sack of day-glo chocolate treats. Wagamama Leicester Square topped off a brilliant outing, and the fellow Tube passengers were regaled with songs about Vikings, Queen Mary and excrement the whole way home!