If you’re tired of home schooling and are finding yourself confusing the different King Henrys and Richards, then a carpark theatre may be coming to your rescue just in time.
Horrible Histories, The Best of Barmy Britons, will be performed live at carpark theatres this summer. Rather than being on stage in a West End theatre, it will be taking place on the back of a lorry while the audience watch on from their cars.
Neal Foster, actor and director of the show, admits “it sounds crazy” but assured hiya bucks “it will be a great event.”
He’s been involved in the Horrible Histories shows for a long time now, having helped write the four Barmy Britons. This latest show will be a compilation of the best scenes from all of the shows, with some added lockdown themed humour – Anne Boleyn is particularly keen for Henry the Eighth to maintain social distancing! And of course, there is a nod to Richard III who was found in a car park.
The show includes all of the favourite Horrible Histories characters, many of which are played by Neal himself. Featuring Boudicca, Guy Fawkes, a rapping Queen Victoria and plenty more, the show will give a whistle stop tour of British history.
It promises to be a bright spark in what is a profoundly worrying time for all in the theatre business. Having had no income since the beginning of March, “the whole industry is staring at total collapse,” Neal warned.
There is also no indication when traditional theatres will be allowed to reopen their doors for live performances and lots of actors are having to take other jobs to make ends meet.
As a result, it was a “no brainer” for Neal when he got the call around 10pm one night from Guy Robinson, the founder and CEO of Coalition Agency, who have set up the carpark parties.
Their first show on 4th July will not only be the first UK live show in over three months but will also be the only show in the UK to take place that day.
If that wasn’t enough, there’s another first they’re aiming for: the first audience singing competition from within their cars!
The shows are selling well and are attracting significant media attention, including from the New York Times, who came and spent a day at rehearsals.
“As a one-off event [for this summer], it will certainly be memorable,” believes Neal. If you don’t want to miss out on this novel show, you can watch it as part of Carpark Party 2020 at Henley from the 9-11th July and Newbury Racecourse on 24th and 25th July.
A traffic management system will be in place and all vehicles will be parked two metres apart. Food and beverages will be available to buy and takeaway, adhering to government guidelines. Accessible toilet facilities will be provided with social distancing health and safety management and sanitation measures in place.