Lisa Allen, Simon Nock and Izaak Cainer in Awful Egyptians by Birmingham Stage Company Photo by Mark Douet

Theatre Review: “HORRIBLE HISTORIES – Awful Egyptians”

My seven year old and I had an amazing night at our favourite theatre, The Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent for the press night of “Horrible Histories: Awful Egyptians” – a hilarious romp through ancient Egypt which was thoroughly entertaining for both adults and children alike! The “Horrible Histories” team are in Stoke until Saturday 23rd March and are touring the UK until the end of November – we highly recommend it!


Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories series of books are the best selling children’s History books in the world and the multi BAFTA award winning TV show is highly popular amongst children (and adults!) of all ages. Birmingham Stage Company, described by The Metro as “the masters of children’s theatre” have adapted the stories of many fabulous children’s writers for the stage, such as David Walliams, Roald Dahl and Michael Morpurgo, and have been performing “Horrible Histories” live since 2005.

My son loves the books and the TV show is one of his favourites so he was so excited when I told him we had been invited to review the show – and it certainly lived up to his expectations. The extremely energetic and highly versatile actors (Simon Nock, Izaak Cainer and Lisa Allen) had the audience in the palm of their hands from start to finish and we laughed our way through the best History lesson I have ever had! I definitely learnt more about Ancient Egypt in that hour and a half than I ever did at school – if only all History lessons were that entertaining!

Simon Nock and Izaak Cainer in Awful Egyptians by Birmingham Stage Company Photo by Mark Douet
Simon Nock and Izaak Cainer in Awful Egyptians by Birmingham Stage Company Photo by Mark Douet

The show begins with Miss Hap, a school teacher, and her young pupil Milo finding themselves locked in a museum overnight. They are transported back to Ancient Egypt where they meet the pompous and fearsome pharoah, Ramesses and have to perform a series of tasks and performances to try to get themselves back to the 21st Century whilst introducing the audience to various characters from Ancient Egypt and teaching us lots of interesting facts along the way! And of course, with it being ‘Horrible‘ Histories there’s lots of references to snot, poo, pulling brains out of nostrils and other gruesome stuff thrown in for good measure!

However, this show isn’t just aimed at the children in the audience and there are loads of jokes for the adults too. Simon Nock plays King Djoser as Donald Trump and the references to “tiny hands”, “fake news”, “building that wall” and “making Egypt great again” had the adults in the audience in fits of laughter. Other modern references such as a flossing Pharoah, an episode of “Changing Tombs” and a “Crystal Maze” style challenge were brilliant and the fact that a mummified character was initially denied access to the afterlife because he voted for Brexit definitely got the biggest laugh of the lot!

Other noteworthy moments included a gruesome lesson on mummification, great songs and dance moves throughout (especially the “Mummy Rap”) and some fabulously fun audience-participation. And after the interval we were all given a pair of 3D glasses to wear and treated to some impressive 3D effects throughout the second half, which the children in the audience particularly enjoyed.


Awful Egyptians is being joined by Terrible Tudors and the run at The Regent finished in March. However, the shows are touring the country until November 30th, 2019. For more information visit the Birmingham Stage Company’s Website here.

A final quote from my seven year old:

“It was funny, a little bit scary and it blew my mind!”

That’s high praise indeed!!

Mummy - 3 Awful Egyptians by Birmingham Stage Company. Photo by Mark Douet
Awful Egyptians by Birmingham Stage Company. Photo by Mark Douet
Where is the Regent Theatre?

The Regent Theatre is located on Piccadilly in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. It’s postcode is ST1 1AP.

Parking for the Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent

I recommend that you park on John Street car-park which is a well-lit and secure multi-storey car-park, a short walk from the theatre.

Disclosure: We were gifted 2 tickets to this show in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

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