Review: Horrible Histories Live On Stage, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Horrible Histories live on stage [Ad-Review]

For the last six months, Mini’s has been obsessed with Horrible Histories. She loves to watch the TV programmes and has also been enjoying reading the book collection. She was therefore beyond excited to be invited to see Horrible Histories Live On Stage.

Mini loves the mixture of humour, silliness and songs of the TV show. The historical tales are packed with plenty of gruesome and gory facts and Mini was hoping to see plenty of this in the theatre show.

The show, at The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, is based upon the book series written by Terry Deary and brought to life by the Birmingham Stage Company. There are two performances available to choose from, Terrible Tudors and Awful Egyptians. I did think it was a shame that you had to chose rather than being able to see both stories within one show.

We settled down to the performance of the Terrible Tudors which gave us a whistle stop history lesson starting with Richard III and ending with Elizabeth I. Along the way we learn about gruesome punishments for criminals in Tudor times, the revolting medical practices and the antics of the monarchy. The history lessons come complete with plenty of modern jokes and song references, mostly for the children’s benefit for some that the adults will appreciate too.

Horrible histories live on stage

As well as jokes there are plenty of songs throughout the performance of Horrible Histories Live on Stage. At one part the audience are divided in a sing off battle based around the fates of Henry VIIIs wives. A song that got stuck in our heads during the drive home.

Credit to the three cast members, Simon Nock, Izaak Cainer and Lisa Allen, who kept the energy levels on high throughout the performance. They seamlessly mastered quick costume changes allowing them to slip into the multiple roles they each played. The staging was fairly simple with limited props. Sadly for me this meant the performance lacked a bit of sparkle and stage magic as visually the show was quite basic. That being said in the second half the audience were given 3D glasses to see special effects on the TV screen on stage, which added to the fun.

Mini enjoyed herself and was desperate to come back the following night to see the Awful Egyptians show. I enjoyed our treat evening out together and whilst I was left feeling a bit underwhelmed with the performance overall the smiles and buzz from the children leaving the performance was clearly evidence that it went down well with them.

horrible histories live on stage

Horrible Histories Live On Stage Information

The show runs at The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry from Wednesday 23rd October until Saturday 26th October. The show is recommended for children aged 5 and upwards.

Tickets cost between £12 and £20.50. Family tickets are also available from £57 including two adults and two children. Tickets are available to purchase directly from The Belgrade Theatre Website.

Helpful Tips

  • There is plenty parking available at the Belgrade Plaza NCP Car Park
  • There are a selection of restaurants very close to the Belgrade Theatre to enjoy a pre-theatre dinner
  • Horrible Histories souvenirs and merchandise is available at the theatre should children wish to take some pocket money along to spend.
  • Booster seats are available to hire for £1. This was really helpful for Mini as she was sat behind a tall adult.

Disclaimer: We were invited to attend Horrible Histories Live On Stage for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions are entirely my own.



  1. October 25, 2019 / 10:13 am

    We love Horrible Histories. The books and the TV show are great, amusing and full of fun facts!

    • mommamack15
      October 27, 2019 / 7:14 pm

      They managed to pack lots of facts into the short performance.

  2. October 25, 2019 / 2:53 pm

    This sounds like a really fun show. Great that there are family tickets available too.

    • mommamack15
      October 27, 2019 / 7:15 pm

      I think it’s a good idea to make treats like this more affordable.

  3. October 25, 2019 / 6:15 pm

    We watched Horrible histories live at Warwick castle a few years ago and it was brilliant!

    They really do bring history to life and offer a few belly laughs along the way x

    • mommamack15
      October 27, 2019 / 7:15 pm

      Wow, bet that was fab set in Warwick castle to really being the history to life.

  4. October 25, 2019 / 6:25 pm

    What a great way to learn something in a really entertaining way. We have read some of the books but never seen a performance. Looks fab.

    • mommamack15
      October 27, 2019 / 7:16 pm

      If you love the books, the show is a great idea.

  5. October 25, 2019 / 6:28 pm

    We saw the Awful Egyptians when it came to Stoke and absolutely loved it! My son is still repeating jokes from the show 6 months later!! The actors were the same 3 that you saw and I agree with you on the amount of energy they have!!
    I didn’t notice a lack of staging and props for the Egyptian one so maybe they had more for that than for the Tudors?

    • mommamack15
      October 27, 2019 / 7:17 pm

      They just don’t stop at all throughout the show, very impressive!

  6. October 25, 2019 / 8:41 pm

    Oh this sounds brilliant! My eldest two love the Horrible History books. I had no idea there was a stage version.

    • mommamack15
      October 27, 2019 / 7:17 pm

      Check out their tour listing, it may be coming near you.

  7. October 26, 2019 / 8:34 am

    Oh this looks great, I love the books. Would be fun to see it brought to life!

  8. October 26, 2019 / 6:03 pm

    OMG! This is amazing theater act i really want to watch this. i hope there’s another schedule been posted. I will wait for it. Thank you for sharing this review. I enjoy reading it.

  9. jennifuchs
    October 26, 2019 / 10:17 pm

    This came to Edinburgh a wee while ago and I was thinking of taking my boys to see it. Unfortunately the dates didn’t work out for us.

    • mommamack15
      October 27, 2019 / 7:18 pm

      Hopefully it will do another tour soon.

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