The Birmingham Stage Company have once again adapted a couple of Terry Deary's Horrible Histories books for the stage and are currently touring with The Awful Egyptians and The Ruthless Romans. But the term awful should not be used with this production which inspires great enthusiasm from the majority of it's young audience.

Sticking to the tried and tested method of making parts of the story either gruesome or disgusting so that the facts are remembered by the audience, the Awful Egyptians takes us through the basics of Ancient Egyptian history including how the pyramids were built and how bodies are mummified. Using props and in the second act the '3D bogglevision' the audience are shown the different areas in simple facts and a fun approach which engages the interest of that notoriously difficult audience, the under tens.

The four actors are excellent and as well as their principle character, all play various roles to tell the story as it unfolds. Daniel Thomas is the over confident explorer Mr Storey and Gary Wilson his gormless assistant Bill. Lauryn Redding is the initially unenthusiastic teenager Maisie but the most impressive is Michael Moulton as the King of Kings Rameses the Great. He not only has great presence as the great Pharaoh but the voice to match.

Director Phil Clark and Designer Jacqueline Trousdale have worked together to create a visual treat which is enhanced by Matthew Scott's music and rather catchy songs.

The Egyptians might have done some awful things but forming the basis for this show is not one of them, treat the kids to a great night out!

- Helen Jones