Horrible Histories is a fun packed romp through Roman Britain

The Horrible Histories book series has sold over 25 million copies, inspiring toys, magazines, and video games. In 2009, CBBC showcased a sketch show based on the franchise which continues to this day. Perhaps inevitably, we now have the movie, though thankfully the puerile charm and historical insight is pleasingly intact.

Largely seen through the eyes of two plucky teenagers played by Sebastian Croft and Emilia Jones, this is a joyously silly film pitched somewhere between Monty Python and  Carry On. Kate Nash is marvellous as Boudicca, whose uprising during Nero’s reign takes him by surprise – he presumed Britain was a stain on the map. Older viewers will get a particular kick out of Derek Jacobi’s reprise of his seminal Claudius portrayal, while Kim Cattrall is splendidly monstrous as his wife Agrippina.

The film is otherwise packed with fun cameos, with Warren Davies, Alexander Armstrong, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Chris Addison all get walk on parts, while Lee Mack and Rupert Graves bounce off each other with some real comedy business. And if all the gags don’t hit the mark, worry not – there’s another five coming along afterwards to tickle your funny bone, in this inventive, good-natured romp.