A riotous romp through British history hits spot

Birmingham Stage Company''Photo by Ian Tilton
Birmingham Stage Company''Photo by Ian Tilton

The Horrible Histories formula is a winning one and this latest touring show - Barmy Britain - doesn’t deviate from this, to the delight of audience members of all ages on the night I saw it at Derby Theatre.

Terry Deary’s many books in the series are massively popular, the TV series is hugely acclaimed and these stage spin-offs keep hitting the spot, providing an entertaining and informative couple of hours.

Birmingham Stage Company’s Barmy Britain is written by Terry Deary and Neal Foster, directed by Foster and features tour-de-force displays from its multi-talented cast of four - Laura Dalgliesh, Benedict Martin, Gary Wilson and Alison Fitzjohn.

All play multiple characters from many of the gorier episodes from British history in a riotous romp of a show that takes in gags galore, a dash of drama, comic sound effects, knockout songs, plenty of audience participation - and you might learn a thing or two along the way. Oh, and fans of 3D are in for a second half treat as well.

I cannot fault this production in any way. The pace never flags, the jokes keep coming thick and fast and the cast are exemplary, superbly in control of the material and working brilliantly well together.

Highly recommended.