17 November, 2012

Punk history versus Horrible Histories

My family and I had an interesting day out in London during the half term holiday. We did something for the adults and something for the kids.

The something for the adults was a visit to the Hayward Gallery at the Southbank Centre to see a small punk exhibition called 'Someday all the adults will die!' I'd heard about the exhibition on Radio 4 and it sounded intriguing. And intriguing it certainly was. The display included fanzines, clothing and record covers from the punk years. These exhibits gave a real feeling for the era and it was particularly interesting to see the hand-drawn and photocopied posters and magazines which were characteristic of the movement -- at a time before professional printing was cheap and available to the mass market.

I was a little concerned when we entered the exhibition space and were greeted by the deafening wail of punk music that this perhaps wasn't the ideal place for kids (mine were the only ones there). But actually my two were totally unphased and browsed the exhibition with interest. My oldest asked lots of questions and declared at the end that she really liked punk style! Let's hope she doesn't take up the safety-pin-through-the-nose look in her teenage years!

The something for the kids was a complete contrast -- a Horrible Histories play at the Garrick Theatre -- but equally entertaining. The 'Barmy Britain' show aimed to provide a short history of Britain 'with the nasty bits left in'. True to the Horrible Histories formula, there were plenty of gruesome happenings and plenty of gallows and toilet humour. The acting was excellent -- just two actors on stage for an hour, supported by an ingenious range of props. We laughed a lot -- even the adults!

We completed our day out in London with dinner at Cafe Rouge. Everyone was happy and everyone had enjoyed themselves. A successful day all round!

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