The History Girls
Wuthering Heights meets Missy Elliott in this Pythonesque sketch comedy show
This article is from 2012.
There’s something pleasingly old-fashioned about The History Girls, a sketch trio who all trained at the Jacques Lecoq School in Paris. Their sketches are unashamedly silly, drawing on the well of British tradition and sending it up in giddy, Pythonesque style. Their targets are all women held up as paragons in history and literature, from Guinevere to the Brontës. In the process, they demystify these normally seriously-regarded people and make them great figures of fun.
They start strongly with Queenagers, an MTV reality show styling of Queen Mary, Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. Anachronistic music from the likes of MIA, Missy Elliott and Kate Bush make for a hilarious soundtrack, but the animations screened between sketches fall flat.
Throughout, there’s a sense that if you don’t get the reference, you won’t understand the humour, and it often feels like half the audience is left out of the jokes. But the threesome are brilliant, charismatic performers – Vanessa Faye-Stanley’s Anne Brontë is particularly funny – who deliver a slick, smart routine.
Assembly Hall, 623 3030, until 27 Aug (not 13), 7.45pm, £11–£12 (£9.50–£10.50).