Review: Horrible Histories

These two shows, one featuring the very worst of the Tudors and the other showing how vile the Victorians could be, are a far cry from the history books (and might at one time have made history teachers cry).

The Victorians got my ticket, and I was reminded as I watched of the kind of propaganda the good Queen bandied about in her reign — none of it featuring the nasty child labour or factory squalor which made her Empire work.

Now of course, we meet the censored facts with glee... chortling over the Night Soil Men and the poo sticks... cheering as chimney sweeps are routinely burnt alive and as mine trap openers are squashed by trucks.

But although it's easy to laugh in the comfort of your theatre seat, no doubt the facts give pause for thought on the walk home.

I'm a fan of the television series, and wondered how Birmingham Stage Company would bring it all to the stage. There are four good actors, all of them excellent storytellers with bags of presence.