Terry Deary's Horrible Histories books have been a presence in my household since I was a young girl. Having read them back in junior school, I was looking forward to it's transition to a live stage production.
The opening night of Terrible Tudors at Coventry's Belgrade Theatre was packed to the brim with children and adults alike, clearly reflecting the book's phenomenon. The balance of historical facts and infantile humour is well executed by an enthusiastic acting company, however, it did feel like a lot of the educational premise was lost on a large majority of the audience. I believe that this was due to the speed with which it was delivered.
Most of my analysis is based on the surrounding children's reaction to the production and judging by the small girl kicking the back of my chair the whole way through and the general unrest throughout some parts of the show, I don't feel that Birmingham Stage Company's offering quite held the attention of those under the age of ten.
Credit where credit is due though, the music composition and sound effects were a big hit, so congratulations to Matthew Scott and Nick Sagar for the execution of this. Also the 3D Bogglevision aspect of the show (provided by Amazing Interactives) in the second half was thoroughly enjoyable - although possibly a bit scary for young children in parts?
I've no doubt that Deary's book series will live on, but as far as the stage production goes, unfortunately, I was not entirely convinced.