FAST-paced, irreverent and very, very funny - this is the definitely the best history lesson ever.

Horrible Histories is back and the young audience - and their parents - lapped it up on opening night.

The Birmingham Stage Company is taking two new shows around the country and last night was the turn of the Groovy Greeks.

And this was Ancient Greek history like you’ve never heard it before - with all the blood and guts that children want to know about left in.

From the moment the disembodied voice of Horrible Histories creator Terry Deary as Zeus boomed out across the theatre, it was breathless entertainment all the way.

It is aimed primarily at youngsters of course - there were children from pre-school age to teenagers in the audience - but there was plenty in there to get the adults laughing and exchanging knowing looks.

The show is superbly conceived with its parodies of The Simpsons, Casualty and Britain’s Got Talent, among others, to bring the stories of Theseus, Agamemnon, Paris and Helen of Troy to life.

It is part sketch show, part pantomime and part musical with some of the terrific trademark songs that make up many of the highlights.

Audience participation is very much encouraged so this is no passive experience.

For the second act we all had to don 3D glasses and join the Spartan army to help see off the Persian invaders - no mean feat when spears and arrows seem to be raining down on you from all angles.

None of this would not be half as much fun without the hyperactive cast, which numbers just four people.

I lost count of how many different characters and costume changes - and it looked like they were having great fun doing it.

All hail Horrible Histories - an object lesson in every way.


  • Horrible Histories is at the Mayflower Theatre until Saturday with the Groovy Greeks and Incredible Invaders. Tickets: 023 8071 1811 or visit