Incredible Invaders | Review
Even my teenagers were excited at the prospect of going to Fairfield Halls in Croydon to watch one of the latest offerings from the Horrible Histories team. It is easy to understand why… they are of a generation who have grown up with Terry Deary’s hilariously gruesome books and TV programmes about the macabre side of English History.
Currently touring nationwide with two shows the energetic cast of four sing dance and educate us about all the bloodthirsty and gory bits of English history
The show we watched was called Incredible Invaders and it light-heartedly covers the numerous times Britain’s green and pleasant lands have been attacked by foreign invaders. Evelyn Adams as Mavis the Celt provides the narrative as she guides us through some quite dramatic pieces of England’s past.
First the Romans save Mavis from being sacrificed by the Druids within her own Celtic village before teaching us quite extensively ‘what the Roman’s did for us’, once the Romans roam back to Rome, England is invaded by the Saxons and Scots (and Picts!) consecutively.
Whereas in previous Horrible History shows the casts have relied on a huge variety of props and hats, here there is a huge computerised backdrop colourfully accentuating the story which the cast interact with and use to great effect with their perfect timing.
In the second act we are asked to wear 3D glasses and the screen comes to life as the Vikings invade. The audience dodge arrows, fireballs and a variety of animals and reptiles, even King Alfred’s burnt cakes! The effect is astounding and the sounds of children gasping with mixed horror and delight can be heard across the auditorium.
There are clever nods to popular British TV programmes too. Grand designs, The Great British ‘Bust Up’, Come Dine With Me (Saxon Style) and my personal favourite Bob the Builder all make an appearance.
Towards the end there is a panto style sing-along too, and now I can categorically state that my family and I all understand where English place names originate now.
“Chester and Leicester are Roman,
Scarborough and Peterborough are Saxon,
Derby and Grimsby are Viking,
We know our way around!”
Horrible Histories is an entertaining, educational and great fun as well. I have topped up my knowledge of all the Incredible Invaders – I just need to see their other show ‘The Groovy Greeks’ and swot up on Greek Mythology now.
Reviewer : Sammi O’Neill.
☆☆☆ Recommended for all young and old History Scholars.
Horrible Histories is on tour Nationwide, it features Evelyn Adams, Tom Moores, Holly Morgan, Elliot Fitzpatrick and Andrew Alton (Understudy) and is produced by The Birmingham Stage Company.
The Churchill in Bromley – From 31 May 16 to 04 Jun 16
Sammi talked to Evelyn Adams about the tour and her role as Ariadne in The Groovy Greeks here.
Read intereviews with other characters here.