What’s it all about?
It depends who’s asking.
Parents/guardians, this is a look back at Britain’s barmy past, from caveman eating habits and the origins of some of the country’s historic towns to the signing of the Magna Carta, the reign of King Charles II and the Great Fire of London.
Kids, three words: murder, death and poo.
How do they tell the story?
Story? Oh, there isn’t just one story in this fact-tastic feast of a show; those who have seen Part One and Two will know that. The stories (plural!) are told by Barmy Britain regulars Neal Foster and Anthony Spargo, who relive history with heaps of humour, copious costumes, comic sound effects and – no Barmy Britain would be complete without it – the occasional rap.
As in the previous parts, there are, of course, a few modern references thrown in too. This time it’s a ‘heated’ episode of everyone’s favourite amateur baking competition, The Great British Bake Off, and a down-with-the-kids King John whose attitude bears an uncanny resemblance to a certain pink tracksuit-sporting Little Britain character.
What did the kids like best?
This is Barmy Britain so you’d expect the poo gags to be right up there on the what-the-kids-like-best list, but… oh who are we kidding? The poo still wins out, even if it is in the form of a story about cholera in Soho that sees Spargo’s unwitting Roger consume copious tankards of faeces-tainted water.
But, for one child in particular the poop jokes were succeeded by the opportunity to join the cast on stage. Though she did get put in the pillory, and in prison, and have things thrown at her…
In a nutshell?
History repeats itself as Horrible Histories – Barmy Britain returns to the West End with another fact-filled hit that makes our nation’s past look preposterous.
Will my little one like it?
If a soiled nappy hitting someone square in the face, a 17th century monarch singing 50 Cent or a stuffed bear having his insides torn out are high up on your little ones’ things to see this summer, Horrible Histories – Barmy Britain – Part Three! is definitely worth a trip.
If those gore-loving, singalong song-savouring, toilet humour-hankering young theatregoers have older companions yearning for the reappearance of Bake Off’s Bin Gate or Game Of Thrones’ Jon Snow, there’s a chance that the show might find a few adult fans to boot.
Horrible Histories – Barmy Britain – Part Three! is playing at the Garrick Theatre until 5 September. You can book tickets for the show through us or, for performances in August, you can take a child for free with every full price ticket purchased through Kids Week.