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Horrible Histories – Barmy Britain: The best history lesson you’ll ever have

Jessica Schumann

HHIf there are any history teachers reading this, then heed my warning—be prepared to up your game in the classroom once school returns in just a few weeks.

Dubbed as a brilliant fun piece of education theatre, Horrible Histories — Barmy Britain is one of the greatest history lessons you will ever have, and it takes to the stage at Canberra Theatre Centre just after Australia Day. Perfect timing really, except in just two hours you’ll discover and learn everything there is know about our mother land—England. Oh ok, I mean ‘Britain‘.

Besides with a convict history as rich as ours and world wars to fill the story books for years to come, who wouldn’t want to meet people from all walks of historical life? The only problem is everyone’s dead!

The new Barmy Britain stage show encapsulates everything. It’s brutal and bloody, hair-raising and horrific, gruesome and comedic, surprising and the best laugh you’ll ever have. It’s ‘a breakneck rollick through 1,000 years’ of Britain’s history complete with amazing 3D effects and giggle-inducing gore.

There’s musical numbers that fly at you thick and fast with classic favourites including Queen anthem We Will Rock You rocked out by none other than Boudicca only to be sung, We will Smash You. For Monty Python fans you’re treated to a little singalong too about the Black death but there’s plenty more jaunty numbers where that came from. Ever seen a break-dancing Queen? Well you just might if you book your tickets now.

Barmy Britain is the Birmingham Stage Company’s most successful Horrible Histories production. Written by Terry Deary and Neal Foster, it started life as a 40-minute performance in London’s Regent Park for a children’s summer festival in 2012 and was invited by London’s leading producers Nimax Theatres into the West End as an hour-long show in February 2013. It was so successful it became the longest running children’s show in West End history, running for nine months at The Garrick Theatre.

Due to popular demand Barmy Britain-Part Two was staged in 2014 which again sold out and now both shows have been combined to create a two-hour production for a UK national tour of Barmy Britain which is currently receiving public and critical acclaim.

Gleeful, fun and entertaining it may very well just what you need to get little Johnny or Jill back on task again at school this year.

The essentials

What: Horrible Histories — Barmy Britain
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre
When: Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 January 2015
How much: $50 (B-reserve), $55 (A-reserve) and $200 Family of 4
Tickets: Purchase online through Canberra Theatre Centre



Jessica Schumann

A 'rambling ranga' at heart, Jessica Schumann is a bubbly, creative social thinker who thrives on words, social media and an innate knack for sharing stories. When she finds the time to write, Jessica seeks out the beauty in change and the essence of human condition. Varied and diverse in nature, her writing delves into the enviable world of people, travel, food and culture. When you can't find her in a nook writing, just follow your nose and you’ll soon find Jessica indulging in her other passion – cooking – or curled up on the couch with a good book in hand. You can find her over at More about the Author

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