Share |

Horrible Histories at the Rose Theatre

Published by: Douglas McFarlane on 2nd Jun 2014 | View all blogs by Douglas McFarlane

Horrible Histories photo R3.jpg

Horrible Histories at the Rose Theatre
Review by Douglas McFarlane 

I love the Rose Theatre. It’s such a great space. A wide open stage, wide seats which are well-spaced out offering uninterrupted views, and there’s even room for youngsters to sit on the floor near the front.  It’s actually encouraged and it’s a great way to get more people into the theatre and allow them to do their own thing.  I’ve even seen some productions use bean bags for people in the front.  The only downside is that can encourage a bit of loose lips when people see it’s not as formal, like the teenage boys who hadn’t realised the monotone nature of their breaking voices could be widely heard unless they whispered.  I can’t complain really.  I arrived late.  Theatre everywhere starts at 7:30pm.  It’s an unwritten rule.  Often I don’t even check and it has caught me out twice. A West End show that started at 8pm was in my favour, tonight however, Horrible Histories started at 7pm and finished at 8pm, so just when I was starting to get into Horrible Histories, it ended. 

So it wasn’t a great experience as a result. 

On the positive note, the bits I did see, were well thought out and engaging and the cast of three did well to entertain youngsters whilst sneaking a bit of history into their brains.  Even I learned something.  On the night they constantly mentioned Boudicca (boo-dic-a), and I thought why are they saying that, it should be Boadicea (bo-add-I-see-ah). It was what I was taught in school so perhaps there was a difference from Scotland to England ?  I checked with my wife. "Boadicea", she said.  I asked my teenage children, "Boudica", they said but they thought it was two c's.  A quick check of Wikipedia and it appears there’s many different names and spellings over the years.  In Welsh it’s Buddug,  So we were all right. Whew !  

I also liked the whole explanation and work through of the Roman Emperors and I instantly became interested in learning more about the Romans again. 

So an enjoyable way to teach history, a nice evening out with the family, and if you arrived on time, a bit of fun theatre along the way to entertain you.  

This show was a one hour special of "Ruthless Romans" but you can see Horrible Histories "Barmy Britain" on tour in Southend, Birmingham, Bradford, Cardiff, Northampton, Guildford and many more around the country.

Find out more here.



  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 4 years ago
    Thanks, Doug. A lovely personal review.
  • Douglas McFarlane
    by Douglas McFarlane 4 years ago
    Please note corrected information over the tour. It's Barmy Britain that's touring, not Ruthless Romans. It promises to be a good one too and the nice people at Horrible Histories have invited my family and I to review in Guildford next month (with added 3D special effects). They read the review and sent a nice note as we only saw half of the show. Ain't that nice ?
Please login or sign up to post on this network.
Click here to sign up now.