Discover British history with the nasty parts left in at a County Durham theatre next month.
The critically acclaimed West End production of Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain has embarked on its first national tour and will arrive at Durham’s Gala Theatre on Sunday, 3 March.
The show is inspired by North East author Terry Deary’s much-loved books and, to celebrate its County Durham stage debut, libraries across the county are running a competition to win a family ticket.
From mounting a mutiny against King Henry VIII, to helping Georgian detectives find the headless man, to discovering the fate of Queen Elizabeth I’s teeth – the production features all new scenes and the opportunity to meet some of history’s most notorious characters.
Gala-goers may also recognise the show’s star, Pip Chamberlin, who played Corporal Crosby in the theatre’s pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Drawfs, last year.
The talented actor, who has appeared in numerous television programmes and theatre productions, said: “The Barmy Britain shows have taken me all around the world, but it’s such a buzz to come back to the Gala Theatre. The crowds here are the best and I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun.
“Horrible Histories is not a boring history lesson; essentially it’s interesting facts with gags. I think the secret to the books’ success is that they are subversive. They poke fun at the establishment and makes you question things and laugh a lot.
“We can all learn a lot through laughter, and if people leave our show having had a great time and discovered something new, then we’ve definitely done our job.”
Cllr Joy Allen, Cabinet member for transformation at Durham County Council, said: “The Horrible Histories books have been entertaining young people and their parents for more than 20 years. They are a popular choice at all of our libraries and we are delighted the West End show is coming to Durham.
“We hope the play and competition will inspire even more people to read these wonderful books and the many other titles we have on offer in our libraries.”
It is free to join all council-run libraries, where members have access to a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books including toddler, children and teen titles. In addition, they can download a huge range of eBooks and eAudiobooks for free by logging into the BorrowBox app. Libraries also offer regular Toddler Time sessions, where little ones can listen to stories, sing songs and do crafts.
Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain takes place at 1.30pm and 4pm on Sunday, 3 March. Tickets cost £15.50, £14 for concessions, £54 for a family ticket or £12.50 for groups of ten and over.
To book, visit or call 03000 266 600.
For library information, including locations and opening times, visit