Did you know that the Tower of London was the first building in London to have indoor toilets, writes Natalie Li.
It’s these kinds of arbitrary historical facts, combined with fart jokes and sea shanties, which form the fun-filled Terrible Thames tour along London’s famous river.
The tour is inspired by the incredibly successful Horrible Histories book series by Terry Deary, adored by children and adults alike.
With more than 30 million copies in print, the amusing fact-filled books have led to an award-winning TV series, sell-out West End and international stage shows and the first feature film in 2019.
Where else can it go? Well, the river Thames.
Theatre producers Birmingham Stage Company and Woods’ Silver Fleet, a family-run company of Thames Watermen since 1866, have joined forces to bring a 45-minute-long open-air clipper Thames tour.
The action kicks off from the moment we begin our journey from Tower Bridge Quay.
There’s no room for breath as two actors, one playing a child and the other a teacher, spend the trip engaged in rapid dialogue as they deliver historical nuggets and dark, gruesome facts about the bridges, buildings, and monuments along the Thames.
Expect plenty of gory tales of executions – this was not something my four-year-old was prepared for but nonetheless she remained gripped by the high-energy performances.
Fast-paced and gag-filled, there’s something for all ages – some political references may be lost on the younger audience – but the hand-clapping sea shanties and silly fart sounds will have your little ones in stitches.
The final rendition of What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor? ended the scenic tour on a thrilling high.
Daily sailings from Tower Bridge Quay.
For tickets, go to www.terriblethames.com
Pictured: Two actors regaling historic tales of London on a clipper cruise