Horrible Histories troupe

The Horrible Histories troupe is a group of British comedians, writers, and actors consisting of Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jim Howick, Laurence Rickard, and Ben Willbond.[1][2][3][4]

Horrible Histories troupe
The group at the 2011 Children's BAFTAs:
L-R: Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas, Mathew Baynton, Laurence Rickard, Ben Willbond and Jim Howick
Medium
  • Television
  • film
NationalityBritish
Years active2009-present
Genres
Notable works and rolesHorrible Histories (2009-15)
Yonderland (2013-16)
Bill (2015)
Ghosts (2019-present)
Members

Originally the core cast members of the CBBC Live action comedy sketch show Horrible Histories, the group have gone on to star in numerous film and television projects together including Yonderland, Bill and most recently, Ghosts on BBC One.

Television

Horrible Histories (2009-15)

Horrible Histories is a British sketch comedy and musical television series, part of the children's history books of the same name. The show was produced for CBBC by Lion Television with Citrus Television and ran from 2009 to 2013 for five series[note 1] of thirteen half-hour episodes, with additional one-off seasonal and Olympic specials.

The TV show carries over the graphic style and much of the content of the Horrible Histories book series. It maintains the franchise's overall irreverent but accurate focus on the dark, gruesome or scatological aspects of British and other Western world history, spanning from the Stone Age to the post-World War II era. Individual historical eras or civilisations are defined and named as in the books, with sketches from several different time periods combined within a single episode. Live-action sketches—which often parody other UK media or celebrities—and music videos are intercut with animations and quizzes. The starring troupe are Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jim Howick, Laurence Rickard, Sarah Hadland and Ben Willbond, alongside a large supporting cast headed by Katy Wix, Lawry Lewin, Alice Lowe and Dominique Moore. The black rat puppet "host", Rattus Rattus, appears in short bridging segments, explaining the factual basis for each sketch.

The creative team was largely recruited from the mainstream adult UK comedy scene. They took inspiration from such quintessentially British historical-comedy classics as Blackadder and the Monty Python films. The series was a critical and ratings success, eventually gaining a wide all ages audience through its non-condescending and inclusive approach. It has won numerous domestic and international awards and has been named among the greatest British children's television series of all time.

Yonderland (2013-16)

33-year-old Debbie Maddox (Martha Howe-Douglas) becomes increasingly bored with her life as a suburban stay-at-home mother until an elf (Mathew Baynton) appears from a portal in her cupboard, insisting that she's the "chosen one" destined to save Yonderland. Reluctantly, Debbie agrees to meet with the Elders of the realm... only to discover that they've lost the scroll that explains what the chosen one is supposed to do. As it turns out, Yonderland is a silly, magical place, threatened by the evil Negatus (Simon Farnaby). It will take all of Debbie's resources to complete each week's quest in time to pick up her children from school.

Ghosts (2019-)

Ghosts is a 2019 sitcom broadcast on BBC One about a collection of ghosts from different historical periods haunting a country house while sharing the house with its new living occupants. The series is written and performed by many of the cast members of the 2009 Children's BBC series Horrible Histories.[5]

The series is the first post-watershed comedy by the ensemble, although some television critics noted that the series was suitable for adults and children alike.[6][7] Reviews of the series have been positive, with critics appreciating the high joke rate, the premise and the strength of the acting ensemble. The series was made by the production company Monumental Pictures, part of ITV Studios.[5] It is filmed on location at West Horsley Place in Surrey.[8]

Film

Bill (2015)

On 18 September 2015 Bill, a 2015 BBC comedy film based loosely around the early life of William Shakespeare, was released. The film, though not officially related to the series, reunited and starred the original core performers of Horrible Histories in starring roles.[9][10]

Notes

  1. Series, in this context, is the British equivalent of the American television season.

References

  1. Earp, Catherine (19 June 2018). "Horrible Histories team reuniting for new sitcom Ghosts". Digital Spy. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  2. "Bill - Film review - Horrible Histories troupe turn Shakespeare's lost years into knockabout farce - Movie Talk - What's on TV". What' s on TV. 20 September 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  3. https://twitter.com/idiotsassembled?lang=en
  4. https://idiotsassembled.wordpress.com/
  5. "Ghosts". BBC Media Centre. 9 April 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  6. Midgley, Carol (16 April 2019). "TV review: Ghosts; A House Through Time". The Times.
  7. Butter, Susannah (15 April 2019). "Ghosts: Things that go bump in the night - a spooktacular house-hunting show". Evening Standard.
  8. Hogan, Michael (15 April 2019). "Ghosts, episode 1, review: a retro house-share sitcom with some wonderfully goofy supernatural guests". Daily Telegraph.
  9. "Stars of Horrible Histories to make Shakespeare film". BBC Media Centre. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  10. "Bill: production details". British Comedy Guide. comedy.co.uk. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
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