We were lucky enough to get tickets to the Horrible Histories Live on stage, The Best of Barmy Britain at Hampton Court Palace.

Horrible Histories is a British Sketch comedy television series, which is part of the children history franchise of the same name based on the books written by Terry Deary.  Our children watch the shows on CBBC and are mesmerised by the way the history is re told in a child friendly, gory, truthful and fun way.  We only wish it was taught to us in our history lessons, as we probably would have got a better mark!  

We all went, a lovely opportunity for us all to have a day out together.  So with husbands and children in tow, we set off for the palace.

The theatre was outside and we all set up camp on the grass in front of the stage.  There  were blankets and picnics galore.  There was ample space for everyone to spread out and cushions for delicate bottoms to hire.


Refreshment stands, with alcohol for the bigger children were available plus pop corn, ice cream and hot dogs.  There was also merchandise to buy and our boys treated themselves to a sword each.

The show started and instantly the children were captivated by the Birmingham Stage Company.  Songs, jokes, dances and lots of audience participation was jammed into an hour of whistle-stop tour of Britain’s history.  Two actors comfortabley held an entire audience of children and adults of all ages.  They brought a modern twist to some key figures of history, even teaching the adults a thing or two we didn’t know.  Did you know that Henry VIII really did execute 72,000 people?

There was smooth transitions between each era and quick costume changes, they had time to throw in the odd Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn joke (for the adults obviously).  They did not hold back on all the gruesome details, even made us grimace at times.  This is what children want to hear, an honest account of actual happenings that I’m sure our boys will recount in their History GCSE papers.

They really made learning fun, as each period had a theme.  We particularly liked The Only Way is Essex as Dick Turpin the famous Highway man and Who wants to be a millionaire does Guy Fawkes.  All was packed with historical facts for us to absorb.

The hour flew by and everyone was glued to their blankets until the end.  They brought us right up to date with the Barmy Britain 2017 style, raps and twerking included.


The day was such a success, not only was the show more than what we expected, it had the added magic of being held at one of Britain’s most iconic palaces.  The back drop of the palace behind the stage made the performance even more memorable.  This was our first experience of the Horrible Histories Live and we definitely will be attending more.  The children armed with their swords, galavanted round the palace’s gardens acting out the figures they had learnt about.  Inspired children, what more could we ask for?

We really are bloody barmy!


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