Entertaining history lesson provides a breath of fresh air on a dismal day

The Entire History of the North

Penny Plain Theatre Company

Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre

THE INCLEMENT weather did nothing to dampen the spirits of a troupe of Victorian misfits, aka Penny Plain Theatre Company, who performed The Entire History of the North or, as they put it 3,000 years of history in 3,000 seconds.

With their replica of a Victorian theatre booth advertising Malvolio Hardcastle’s Mighty Excelsior Theatre, the hapless troupe of down and out players took the audience from the age of the Noble Savage on a whistle stop tour to the Celts, Julius Caesar, the Emperor Hadrian, the Picts, Anglo- Saxons and Vikings, who were interested in pillage and flower arranging!

From the Norman Conquest we sped along to the Wars of the Roses and whizzed on to Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

The audience participated in the Civil War battles, then on rapidly, via various monarchs to the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions and the Victorians, bringing us the blazing torch of enlightenment. Phew!!

With a whole host of double entendres, risqu comments, accents galore, malapropisms, costume changes, rhyming verse and a very non-PC approach, this was just what was needed to brighten up a dismal day.

It was all good fun, a jolly romp, pantomimic and much enjoyed.

“If we pass this way again remember to run like hell!” was the parting shot.

Judging by the reception to Penny Plain that isn't very likely.

Sheila Loffill