Horrible Histories – Terrible Tudors @ Milton Keynes Theatre 10.07.2019

Can you name Henry VIII’s six wives and do you know what happened to each of the them? Divorced? Beheaded? Died or survived?!

Half Pint might be able to soon as he gets his first grisly history lesson courtesy of HORRIBLE HISTORIES – TERRIBLE TUDORS at Milton Keynes Theatre

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Half Pint is now at the ripe old age of five.

In a matter of days he is about to finish his first year at “big” school in the reception / early years class and will be starting YEAR 1 in September.

Even if it petrifies me, it is now undeniable, HP’s educational journey has started and is picking up speed.

Aside from the phonics, holding a pencil, learning to navigate reading and all that stuff that comes hurtling at our family, what have I noticed as a parent?

Children are SPONGES for information. They love it, they thrive on it and their fascination and inquisitive nature shines when dealing with the world around us and the worlds of the past.

And while I think we are extremely privileged to have access to the educational system that we do, I also strongly believe that not all we can teach children can take place in one classroom, under only a few peoples responsibility.

We need to approach things from different angles with different ways of engaging children as we teach them.

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Half Pint, while he is still very young, has already developed a very wicked sense of humour. Don’t a lot of kids?

The ridiculous, the macabre and the downright gross is definitely a way to get his eyes shining and his imagination running, so when I saw HORRIBLE HISTORIES was coming to Milton Keynes Theatre I thought, is this for Half Pint? Maybe so!

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The performance time was 1.30pm on a school day, so I had to approach Half Pint’s school to request that he may be excused to attend it.

I spoke to the attendance officer and after a minor grilling was given permission to take him out of school after lunch to bring him with me! YAY!

I honestly had a preconception that schools and attendance were brutally rigid and was worried it was going to be a no-go, but this was a pleasant surprise. The school are supporting the children (and Half Pint) in gaining educational experiences from all sorts of avenues.

I so totally approve of this.

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It was clear to see after arriving at the theatre that Half Pint was excited and proud as punch to be out of school and on an excursion with his mum.

That’s half the engagement won, eh parents/guardians/teachers?

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Half Pint loved visiting the piano bar and grabbing a J20 and in the interval he got his mitts on a bag of chocolate buttons which we shared with Leo (age 6) and his mum Ellie who were also watching the show.

The show was PACKED with history facts, but the way the cast portrayed it with costumes, silly antics and some extremely catchy songs, I think a lot of the information was sticking without you even realising it.

I have the song to remember what happened to each of Henry VIII’s wives permanently burnt into my brain forever now.

# Divoriced, beheaded, died! Divorced, beheaded, survived!

The second half of the show used the old fashioned cardboardy 3D glasses and the back of the stage became immersive and gave the children little jump scares that were lots of fun. Thankfully Half Pint didn’t find any of it too much for him but I imagine some of the younger children might.

Horrible Histories doesn’t hold back with the gruesome stuff. Explaining about capital punishment and how it was carried out but even at the moments where your eyes might widen a bit in fear of what your child is hearing, they then turn it silly and safe again with their funny antics. It’s digestible and shouldn’t leave children with nightmares.

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FYI: The show lasted for 90 minutes (approx and including a small interval) and the photo above is the view to the stage from our seats in row J.

It was not too long. Half Pint was more than ready to get up and start moving around when it had finished. He was quite tired out but he is the youngest end of the audience spectrum.

A different HORRIBLE HISTORIES show The AWFUL EGYPTIANS is also appearing at Milton Keynes Theatre this week. As someone who LOVED scary mummies, how they were made and all that bizarro stuff, I guess that show is going to be a good ‘un.

I definitely think Horrible Histories is going to be a feature in our family lives as we navigate history and schoolwork throughout the coming years. I really approve of this approach using songs and movement to get the children soaking up information.

Five is possibly a little too young to fully appreciate all the educational side of the show BUT I think it’s great to get children exploring theatre as young as their bums will be happy to sit still.

Our friend Ellie’s son Leo seemed to enjoy it very much too. Leo is apparently a fan of the TV show Horrible Histories.

I’m going to try and find how we can watch the TV show and introduce it to Half Pint in his summer hols now too.

Thanks for having us Milton Keynes Theatre! 🖤

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Horrible Histories – Terrible Tudors AND Awful Egyptians is at Milton Keynes Theatre 10 – 13 July 2019.

For full transparency, tickets to the show were kindly gifted to me from Milton Keynes Theatre.