Thursday, 28 March 2013

Horrible Histories - from Books, to TV, to Stage

Terry Deary was able to collect his ideas to write his many Horrible Histories books from anywhere and everywhere. Deary tapped into childrens' endless thirst for knowledge and their love of history and fascinating facts, and, by dispelling the boring bits and exaggerating the tales somewhat his books found a winning formula. Deary injects humour into information that is based on actual events and historical happenings.

So our children have learned about ancient people and civilizations of the world when reading these illustrated books geared for pre-teens, and from watching the Horrible Histories CBBC TV programmes that followed later on (see video clip below).Our children have enjoyed the stories of the old fashioned and of the long time past, in particular the weird and wonderful behaviour and actions of people.

Deary does not tend to focus long on acts of heroism and nobility, he writes about the stupidity, the strange; the ridiculous; the wild and wacky; the toilet jokes, and the plain disgusting. Yet he does it in such a way that even the telling of the saddest of events or if the deepest tragedy of circumstance results, he is still able to cheer up the reader, and, although, Deary deals with heavy stuff that if he happened to be writing in the genre of fiction, which he is not really as all is based on fact, we'd even manage a few happy endings! So no mean feat.

A natural progression then, to adapt two of Deary's most popular books namely The Terrible Tudors and the Vile Victorians for stage performance.  These two shows are making their way to the Main Stage at the Belgrade Theatre these school holidays, running from Tues 2 April to Sat 6th.  Tickets for both shows are available now from the Belgrade’s Box Office on 024 7655 3055 priced from £13.75 to £18.25 and from £9.75 to £14.75 for children. Family tickets start from just £35 or via where cheaper tickets are available.

Featuring professional actors and amazing Bogglevision 3D special effects! The audience will be able to feel what it might have been like to live in the sixteenth century ruled by those terrible Tudor monarchs, learn the fate of Henry's six wives and much more. Alternatively leap forward to the nineteenth century and try to imagine struggling to survive the misery of working down the coal mines, or the hard graft of running the Victorian railway or toiling in the factories.
“Brilliant! A great show with lots of screams and laughter.” says the Sunday Express 
BirminghamStage Company are the country’s premiere company producing theatre for children, well known for their great stage versions of children’s classics such as The Jungle Book and many Roald Dahl adaptations including Danny the Champion of the World and George’s Marvellous Medicine.

The company will return to the Belgrade in the summer with their acclaimed production of Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, which will run on the Main Stage from Tues 11 to Sat 15 June.

A few titles from the Horrible Histories collection available from Scholastic


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