REVIEW: Horrible Histories - Groovy Greeks

Hannah Boyce and Ashley Bowden in Horrible Histories
Hannah Boyce and Ashley Bowden in Horrible Histories
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It’s rather refreshing at the moment to spend an hour or two on the subject of Greece without anybody mentioning the debt crisis.

Yes, there’s a vengeant god or two, a run in with the Minotaur and a baffling lesson in philosophy but frankly it’s a nice change from cash machine queues and the over-use of the term Grexit.

Groovy Greeks is one of two Horrible Histories being played out at the Grand this week - wrapping up educational stories in a shiny package of songs, sketches and gags about snot.

Well, what do you expect from a show aimed at the hard-to-please eight to 12 age bracket and based on a hugely popular series of books and TV shows.

Thankfully there’s no attempt from the Birmingham Stage Company to repeat the chaos of the TV format on stage but the lively cast of four keep the action, gags and facts flowing at a frantic pace.

There’s skits based on Big Brother (Socrates, Archimedes and Pythagoras among the housemates), Britain’s Got Talent and The Simpsons.

There’s plenty of audience involvement too - including the chance to become the chorus in a real Greek tragedy and a visit to the temple doctor. And, with 3D specs on for the second half, there’s a spectacular finale featuring land and sea battles.

Horrible histories is perfectly-pitched family fun after which there can be no excuses that the ancient world is ‘all Greek to me’.

Along with Incredible Invaders, Groovy Greeks runs at The Grand until Saturday.

Rob Stocks