CAN you beat battling Boudicca? What if a Viking moved in next door? Would you lose your heart or head to horrible Henry VIII?
Can evil Elizabeth entertain England? Will Parliament survive Gunpowder Guy? Dare you stand and deliver to dastardly Dick Turpin?
Can you escape the clutches of Burke and Hare? Why not move to the groove with Party-Queen Victoria?
Questions, questions, so many questions to answer, and here to answer them are the Horrible Histories team in their alternative history lesson, Barmy Britain, on tour at the Grand Opera House, York, until Sunday.
These purveyors of the West End’s longest-running children’s show are bringing British history to life in a humorously horrible and eye-popping show trip to the past with Horrible Histories’ trademark 3D effects.
Watch out for their Bogglevision array of illusions, as skulls hover, dams burst and missiles fly into the audience – and be sure to duck. Fast!
Presented by the Birmingham Stage Company over 15 years, the Horrible Histories Live on Stage shows are written by Neal Foster and Horrible Histories author Terry Deary.
Deary has written 200 books, translated into 40 languages. Since 1983, his 50 Horrible Histories titles have sold more than 25 million copies worldwide from China to Brazil.
Horrible Histories’ Barmy Britain is directed by Foster and designed by Jackie Trousdale, with lighting by Jason Taylor, sound by Nick Sagar, music by Matthew Scott and choreography by Kenn Oldfield.
“We all want to meet people from history. The trouble is, everyone is dead. It’s time to prepare yourselves for Horrible Histories,” says Foster. “Our wonderful Barmy Britain journey through the gruesome, scary and unbelievable moments in British history is perfect entertainment for anyone aged from 5 to 105!”
Performances are at 10.30am and 7pm today; 3pm and 7pm, Saturday; 11am and 3pm, Sunday. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.
MOOR, Moor, Moor and much more, more, more besides are on Charles Hutchinson’s list for the week ahead.
Surrealist stand-up theatre of the week, Ben Moor and Joanna Neary mini-season, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, today until Saturday
BEN Moor and Joanna Neary combine to deliver five offbeat comedy shows in three days in their Theatre@41 debut.
Moor contemplates performance, friendship and regret in his lecture about lectures, Pronoun Trouble, tonight at 8pm. Tomorrow, at 7.30pm, Neary’s multi-character sketch show with songs and impersonations, Wife On Earth, is followed by Moor’s Who Here’s Lost?, his dream-like tale of a road trip of the soul taken by two outsiders.
Saturday opens at 3pm with Joanna’s debut children’s puppet show, Stinky McFish And The World’s Worst Wish, and concludes at 7pm with the two-hander BookTalkBookTalkBook, a “silly author event parody show”. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.
Alternative history lesson of the week: Horrible Histories’ Barmy Britain, Grand Opera House, York, today at 1.30pm, 7pm; tomorrow, 10.30am and 7pm; Saturday, 3pm, 7pm; Sunday, 11am, 3pm
WHAT if a Viking moved in next door? Would you lose your heart or head to horrible Henry VIII? Can evil Elizabeth entertain England? Will Parliament survive Gunpowder Guy? Dare you stand and deliver to dastardly Dick Turpin?
Questions, questions, so many questions to answer, and here to answer them are the Horrible Histories team in Barmy Britain, a humorously horrible and eye-popping show trip to the past with Bogglevision 3D effects. Box office: atgtickets.com/york
Reopening of the week: York Theatre Royal Studio for Tutti Frutti’s The Princess And The Pea, today to Tuesday; no show on Sunday
YORK Theatre Royal Studio reopens today with a capacity reduced from 100 to 71 and no longer any seating to the sides.
First up, Leeds children’s theatre company Tutti Frutti revive York playwright Mike Kenny’s adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s story, set in a place where what you see is not what it seems: the Museum of Forgotten Things.
Three musical curators delve into the mystery of how a little green pea ended up there in an hour of humour, songs and a romp through every type of princess you could imagine. Box office and show times: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Open Studios of the week: Anita Bowerman, Dove Tree Art Gallery and Studio, Back Granville Road, Harrogate, Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 5pm
HARROGATE paper-cut, watercolour and stainless steel artist Anita Bowerman opens her doors for refreshments and a browse around her new paintings of Yorkshire and Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen, prints and mugs.
“It’s a perfect chance for inspiration before the Christmas present-buying rush starts,” says Anita, who has been busy illustrating a new charity Christmas card for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance featuring the Yorkshire Shepherdess.
York Design Week gig of the week: Drawsome!, Mollie Coddled Talk More Pavilion, Spark:York, Saturday, from 3pm
AS part of Drawsome’s day of workshops and an Indy Makers Market to complement MarkoLooks’ print swap exhibition of illustrators and printmakers, York’s Young Thugs Records are curating a free line-up of live music.
Taking part will be The Hazy Janes, Kell Chambers and Rachel Croft, singer, songwriter and illustrator to boot.
Welcome back of the week: Breabach, Selby Town Hall, Saturday, 8pm
GLASGOW folk luminaries Breabach will be the first touring band to play Selby Town Hall for almost 20 months this weekend.
“Leading lights of the Scottish roots music scene and five-time Scots Trad Music Award winners, they’re a really phenomenally talented band,” says Chris Jones, Selby Town Council’s arts officer. “It’s an absolute thrill to have professional music back in the venue. It’s been far too long!” Box office: 01757 708449, at selbytownhall.co.uk or on the door from 7.30pm.
Eighties’ celebration of the week: Level 42, York Barbican, Sunday, doors 7pm
ISLE of Wight jazz funksters Level 42 revive those rubbery bass favourites Lessons In Love, The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up), Something About You, Running In The Family et al at York Barbican.
Here are the facts: Mark King’s band released 14 studio, seven live and six compilation albums, sold out Wembley Arena for 21 nights and chalked up 30 million album sales worldwide.
This From Eternity To Here tour gig has been rearranged from October 2020; original tickets remain valid. Box office for “limited availability”: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Guitarist of the week: Richard Thompson, York Barbican, Monday, doors 7pm
RICHARD Thompson plays York Barbican on the back of releasing Beeswing, his April autobiography subtitled Losing My Way And Finding My Voice 1967-1975.
An intimate memoir of musical exploration, personal history and social revelation, it charts his co-founding of folk-rock pioneers Fairport Convention, survival of a car crash, formation of a duo with wife Linda and discovery of Sufism.
Move on from the back pages, here comes Richard Thompson OBE, aged 72, songwriter, singer and one of Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 20 Guitarists of All Time. Katherine Priddy supports. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Something wicked this way comes…at last: York Shakespeare Project in Macbeth, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, October 26 to 30, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee
THE curse of Macbeth combined with Lockdown 1’s imposition to put a stop to York Shakespeare Project’s Scottish Play one week before its March 2020 opening.
Rising like the ghost of Banquo, but sure to be better received, Leo Doulton’s resurrected production will run as the 37th play in the York charity’s mission to perform all Shakespeare’s known plays over 20 years.
Doulton casts Emma Scott’s Macbeth into a dystopian future, using a cyberpunk staging to bring to life this dark tale of ambition, murder and supernatural forces. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.
Dance show of the week: Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black, York Theatre Royal, Tuesday, 7.30pm
ARTISTIC director Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black return to York with a double bill full of lyrical contrasts and beautiful movement.
Will Tuckett blends classical ballet, poetry and music to explore ideas of home and belonging in Then Or Now; fellow Olivier Award-winning choreographer Mthuthuzeli November contemplates the purpose of life in The Waiting Game. Box office: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Exhibition of the week: Fylingdales Group of Artists, Blossom Street Gallery, Blossom Street, York, until November 30
TWELVE Fylingdales Group members are contributing 31 works to this exhibition of Yorkshire works, mainly of paintings in oils, acrylics, gouache and limonite.
Two pieces by Paul Blackwell are in pastel; Angie McCall has incorporated collage in her mixed-media work and printmaker Michael Atkin features too.
Also participating are David Allen, fellow Royal Society of Marine Artist member and past president David Howell, Kane Cunningham, John Freeman, Linda Lupton, Don Micklethwaite, Bruce Mulcahy, Sue Slack and Ann Thornhill.
HORRIBLE blow for Harrogate, as the Government roadmap out of the lockdown has consigned the April 3 performances of Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain at the Yorkshire Event Centre to history.
Other dates on the nationwide Car Park Tour booked originally for before April 12 have been rearranged after the proposed timing of the Government’s four-step plan necessitated a later itinerary.
Seventeen locations will accommodate the tour, ranging from racecourses to sports stadia, showgrounds to an airport, an exhibition centre to country houses, but no new space in the diary could be found for the Great Yorkshire Showground show in Harrogate.
By contrast, the April 5 performance of the live-action version of Barmy Britain at Harewood House, near Leeds, has been switched to Sunday, May 2 at 11am.
Tickets holders have been notified of the changes but tickets are still available via carparkparty.com, priced at £39.50 upwards, plus £2.50 booking fee. Further information can be found there too.
The Barmy Britain tour will present two actors playing a multitude of classic characters from barmy and horrid British history, taking in Queen Boudica, King Henry VIII, Guy Fawkes, Dick Turpin, Queen Victoria and plenty more besides.
Based on Terry Deary’s broad-humoured historical books of the same name, Horrible Histories have transferred from page to stage for 18 live shows presented by Birmingham Stage Company, as well being made into a musical sketch comedy television series.
In the Covid-safe Car Park Tour show, on tour from April 13 to May 3, families sit in their cars watching the actors on stage and on a large screen while listening live on their radios and, if so inclined, honking their horns in appreciation.
Birmingham Stage Company and “concept creators” Coalition Agency “plugged the pantomime-less gap” with Horrible Christmas and now they are teaming up again for two Horrible Histories tour shows: Barmy Britain and Gorgeous Georgians & Vile Victorians.
Neal Foster, actor-director of Birmingham Stage Company, will be joined on stage by Morgan Philpott. “I’m over the moon to be back on tour with Barmy Britain after its hugely successful tour last summer,” he says. “It’s weird and wonderful to be performing in car parks and to see the audience having fun behind their windshields. We can’t wait to get back out there”.