Run time: 92 mins
From a bestselling book series by Terry Deary to a BAFTA-winning TV series, Horrible Histories challenges itself to a big-screen adaptation
Keeping the grotesque moments and toilet humour of the original stories, the film reiterates what Horrible Histories aims to do: explore the delightfully darker details of British history. The time is circa 54 AD, set after the death of emperor Claudius (Derek Jacobi, returning to the role again after the 1976 BBC series). Within the backdrop of a power-struggle between Nero (Craig Roberts) and his mother (Kim Cattrall), it focuses on our fictitious teenage protagonist, Atti (Sebastian Croft). After an unfortunate incident selling fake gladiator sweat, which turns out to be horse wee and is poured over the Emperor Nero, Atti is faced with a horrifying punishment: exile to Britain. Captured by Orla (Emilia Jones), the Celtic daughter of a chieftain (Nick Frost) who believes she is incapable of fighting in battle against the Romans, Orla uses her prisoner to demonstrate otherwise. Director Dominic Brigstocke took inspiration from Monty Python and Blackadder – believing in the “great tradition of the British making fun of their history”. Although not very cinematic, it’s certainly humorous.