x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Roman history and, funnily, all its ruthlessness comes to stage at Ductac

The terrible tactics of the army, the gruesome realities about gladiators and the evil truth about the emperors will all come alive on stage.

Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans shows at Ductac until Saturday, October 26. Courtesy Birmingham Stage Company
Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans shows at Ductac until Saturday, October 26. Courtesy Birmingham Stage Company

History textbooks in school are usually heavily edited down and sanitised in the interest of children. But Terry Deary, the best-selling children’s writer, gives kids a no-holds-barred look into the past with his Horrible Histories book series. Now, a play based on one of his popular books – Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans – is in the UAE, courtesy of Art for All.

Since 2006, The Birmingham Stage Company has created theatre productions based on his books and taken them around the world. This week, the Dubai Community Theatre & Art Centre (Ductac) will host performances of Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans, where the terrible tactics of the army, the gruesome realities about gladiators and the evil truth about the emperors will all come alive on stage.

“I have been working with the Birmingham Stage Company since 2004. This is the fourth time we have brought a Horrible Histories play to the UAE,” says Rania Kuzbari Ashur, the founder of Art for All. “We brought Barmy Britain last year, which was a great success. Our first one was Victorian Traders in 2005.

“These plays are great because they help kids understand history in a way they can retain. Art for All’s purpose is to provide edutainment and these plays are the perfect way to do it. History may be gruesome at times, but the kids love it, because it remains in their memory for a long time.”

artslife@thenational.ae

• Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans is at Ductac from today until Saturday. Tickets are priced from Dh90 and can be bought at Ductac’s box office. More information at www.ductac.org

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