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Bristol Hippodrome


Horrible Histories - May 2016


History but not as you know it!


Never in the history of time have so many children, after a long day at school, dragged their parents out at night to attend a history lecture.

But Bristol Hippodrome’s brilliant Horrible Histories saw hundreds of children do just that.

The Greek God Zeus is the guide to gruesome murders, bloody battles, seductive Goddesses, Olympic Games and a murderous Minotaur which were all part of the Groovy Greeks rise and fall which played this week.

Using three-D and special effects the audience was treated to a whistle-stop and white-knuckle tour of the bloodthirsty history and legends of ancient Greece.

Four actors – set up as a family - were roped in on events that seamlessly connected the Trojans with the Simpsons (Marg was a cool Helen of Troy), the Spartans with The Hunger Games and the Hippocratic oath and BBC’s Casualty.

The mind boggled, but believe me, the childrens’ didn't.

The audience loved it when a Big Brother-style get-together saw philosophers, Aristotle, Socrates, Pythagoras and Archimedes in a house discussing a chicken’s life and death.

After the break, with the audience wearing three-D glasses, there was a moment when the flesh-eating Minotaur, described as half-bull and half-man, saw an image of Boris Johnson flashed over the audience. Parents were helpless with laughter.

Later, instead of Britain’s Got Talent, the Groovy Greeks presented The Gods have Talent, with Zeus, Aphrodite, Poseidon and Athena battling it out on stage. Athena – the rapping Goddess of War, won.

The audience drank up the fact that the world’s first play and poem were of Grecian origin and the meaning of ‘democracy’ is ‘people rule’.

And there was one serious moment when the subject of slavery was discussed.

What might have seemed distressing even 2,000 years ago is still happening today with up to 30 million people enslaved and around a quarter of them children.

The brilliant series of Horrible Histories books written by Terry Derby have brought history alive for millions of children (and their parents).

While some may say skimming history for just the gory and humorous is superficial; the theatrical play on the books is an amazing feat which bring the ancient past to contemporaneous life and I’m sure after children and their parents will be more willing to delve deeper.

It was a fun night out and the best family-friendly history lesson ever.

Melanie Greenwood

It was such fun and even if you knew it wasn't for real having a spear thrown at you or a scary spider dangling in front of your 3D glasses still made you jump up and scream - every time.

The Groovy Greeks were great - we were amazed that four actors who arrived on stage pretending to have lost their way in the stalls were able to hold our complete attention with just a few props and projected images.

Best bits for us was the monster in the labyrinth and although you shouldn't we did laugh when the king killed himself because his stupid son got in a muddle with his black and while sails.

The multi-roles were distinguised by exaggerated arm gestures and quick costume changes often on stage.

It was so good to see the theatre full of young people enjoying themselves and throughly engrossed.

We learned the meaning of democracy and that the Romans and Greeks had the same Gods with different names and our grandchildren aged eight and 12 thought it was the best theatre they had seen.

Cianna said afterwards: "I love the Hippodrome."

Brooke said: "It was fantastic, the people on stage were really good (and bad)."

Carol Deacon

Horrible Histories live on stage



Thousands of years after the Ruthless Romans, Savage Saxons and Vicious Vikings stormed ashore on the coast of Britain and the Gruesome Greeks competed in the first ever Olympic Games, you can relive those horribly exciting times by bringing your family to see Birmingham Stage Company’s brand new Horrible Histories stage shows coming to gthe Bristol Hippodrome from Wednesday to Saturday, May 25-28.

BSC is returning to Bristol with its new Horrible Histories stage shows, Incredible Invaders and Groovy Greeks, as with their previously hugely popular Horrible Histories productions both these shows use actors and 3D Bogglevision special effects.

Following their UK tour the players will then visit theatres further afield in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai during 2016.

In Incredible Invaders the Celts are crunched when the Ruthless Romans invaded Britain.

  • Can crazy Caratacus can save the nation? Hide behind Hadrian’s Wall and witness the Savage Saxons smash their way in. Can you stop King Alfred burning his buns? Discover who’s at Sutton Hoo and survive the Vicious Vikings as they sail into the audience. It’s a thousand year journey with Incredible Invaders!

  • Groovy Greeks takes us from savage Sparta to angry Athens to discover the truth about growing up in Greece. Take on the Trojans and pummel the Persians! Compete in the first ever Olympic Games and appear in the very first play!  Meet your match with the Minotaur and be zapped by Zeus! Hold on tight as you gatecrash the gruesome and Groovy Greeks!It’s history with the nasty bits left in!

Writer and director Neal Foster said: “I had a hugely exciting time bringing the Groovy Greeks to life in Horrible Histories style and loved shining the spotlight on Celtic, Roman, Saxon and Viking life in Incredible Invaders.

"Both shows feature special amazing 3D effects that provide a spectacular way for both children and adults to enter these extraordinary historical periods”

Are Incredible Invaders and Groovy Greeks BSC’s best Horrible Histories theatre shows yet?

Designed to both entertain and educate their audiences from ages five to 105!

Come and goggle at the goings on of those Groovy Greeks and let the Incredible Invaders ignite your imaginations to learn more about our island’s early history. So don’t delay - book your tickets today!

Groovy Geeks- Wednesday, May 25, at 10.30am; Thursday, May 26, at 7pm; Friday, May 27, at 10.30am, and Saturday, May 28, at 7pm.

Incredible Invaders- Wednesday, May 25, at 1.30pm, Thursday, May 26, at 1.30pm; Friday, May 27, at 7pm, and Saturday, May 28, at 2.30pm.

Tickets from £12.75 with concessions available.

Further details click HERE.

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