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Mummies put their hearts into bringing history alive

Horrible Histories, Awful Egyptians, Belgrade Theatre until October 26

When I sat down in the theatre I got the feeling that I was one of very few in the audience who knew next to nothing about Horrible Histories. I have never read the books, seen the TV series, listened to their audio books or seen their stage shows. Two hours later I left the Belgrade with a smile on my face with catchy songs still going around my head (as well as feeling a little peeved that my side of the audience didn’t win the ‘sing off’ just before the interval) The show begins when Milo, a keen student, gets locked in a museum with his teacher Miss Hap, and embarks on an amazing adventure with Ramasses There are only three actors but they play a variety of parts with immense energy and enthusiasm and they certainly know how to engage all the young and old members of the audience. We get treated to jokes, impersonations, terrible puns, songs, gruesome details, dancing, rapping and are provided with plenty of opportunities to join in the fun. We also experience interactive 3D special effects as the characters go racing through tombs to find hidden treasures. I found myself ducking as a huge beetle appeared to be about to splat across my face! Personally I also learned a great deal about the Egyptian culture, pyramids, mummification and Tutankhamen. The children in the audience seemed to lap it up especially gory bits when body parts are thrown about and vital organs removed from bodies. However there’s plenty of humour to also entertain parents and grandparents including references to Brexit and Donald (‘I’m gonna make Egypt great again’) Trump! Just as the Horrible History books entice children into reading, I’m sure performances like this provide a super introduction to the joys of live theatre. The show was also highly educational with us all being given the opportunity to learn about the Egyptians in a fun and participative way. Above all it was great entertainment for the whole family.

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