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Horrible Histories - Woeful Second World War

Published Thursday 12 February 2009 at 11:35 by Natalie Anglesey

Heard of Bogglevision?

This brilliant 3D device is used with impressive affect in the second half of Terry Deary’s insightful look at conflict, seen through the eyes of two children. War is vividly realised in the bombing of Coventry, which has the adults, as well as the children in the audience, ducking as the bombers fly overhead on their way to destroy the city.

Not, you may think, suitable material for primary school children and yet Deary has an uncanny knack of knowing what intrigues and involves children in theatre.

There’s lots of songs of the period to jolly the pace along as we meet the two children who are evacuated from Coventry to Wales. Matthew Schmolle is football-mad Alf, who always has a cunning plan, whilst Perry Lambert is equally good as the animal-hating Sally.

There are excellent performances too from Ciaran McConville and Laura Dalgleish, who play Alf’s dad and Sally’s mum, as well as a wide variety of other roles.

This exciting story is told against a series of cleverly changing backgrounds which are part back-projection and part video-enhanced by computer graphics. Congratulations must go to director Phil Clark and Jaqueline Trousdale for the design and screen illustrations, as well as to Amazing Interactives for the 3D special effects, which end with a poignant reminder of those lost in battle.

Another feather in the cap of the Birmingham Stage Company and Deary.

Production information

Lowry, Salford Quays, February 10-14, then touring until December 5

Terry Deary, adapted by Phil Clarke
Phil Clark
Birmingham Stage Company
Cast includes:
Perry Lambert, Matthew Schmolle, Ciaran McConville, Laura Dalgleish
Running time:
1hr 50mins

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15 2014