Muddy meets… Horrible Histories!
The family favourite tour reaches Wycombe on 6-7 Nov. Muddy spoke to co-director Neal Foster about what grisly goings-on are in store (clue: severed heads involved).
Family favourite Horrible Histories is back on tour with shows Terrible Tudors and Awful Egyptians, bringing us mummy-making, tomb excavations and an Armada sailing into the audience. We’ve grabbed a quick cuppa with co-director Neal Foster about what grisly goings-on we can expect.
What are your fave parts from these shows?
From Awful Egyptians it’s how they made mummies. Because they thought the brain was useless, just padding for the skull, they’d take it out and feed it to their pet cat or whatever was passing. They believed all thought and emotion was in the heart so that’s the only thing they left in. In Terrible Tudors it’s wonderfully awful Henry VIII. I reckon if you want to find out what Donald Trump is like spend an hour with Henry VIII! We have the wooing and undoing of Anne Boleyn and her not very happy ending. There’s also a good scene with Richard III, what happened to him before the Tudors. Shakespeare pops up as well.
What’s your favourite visual moment
There’s a 3D Spanish Armada sequence in the middle of Terrible Tudors with canons firing into the audience. With Awful Egyptians in the 3D sequence we go into what was in their afterlife, so we journey into the kingdoms they believed they went to when they died which is exciting and a bit scary.
Anything you’ve considered too gross to go into a show?
There’s a scene in Barmy Britain Part Four where someone kisses a severed head. I thought ‘We can’t do this’ but then I changed my mind and it’s proving popular! If you can find a funny way of doing it there’s almost nothing you can’t do.
Are you diligent with the facts?
Yes, we like to keep it absolutely accurate. Though we have a lot of fun and in-jokes, we like there to be three or four sources before a fact will be included. We performed Terrible Tudors at Hampton Court a few years ago and the curators read the script and gave us some pointers and we made certain changes. We are always adapting to keep up with historical research. In the last few weeks a workshop for mummies has been discovered in Egypt so we put an extra fact in from that.
How were you at history at school?
Well I did two History A levels. My English History teacher was the most boring man in Britain and I did badly, the other was excellent and I got an A. That’s the thing – if you’ve got a great teacher you’ll enjoy it. If not, we’re here to right any wrongs! In the end it’s about fantastic stories and we leave in the interesting, gory, rude and disgusting.
Horrible Histories – Awful Egyptians & Terrible Tudors – will be at the Wycombe Swan Tues 6 – Sat 10 November.