The Complete History of Europe (More or Less)

From the Bronze Age to Brexit, get ready to laugh and learn with More or Less Theatre as they present to you a whistle-stop tour through European history that can be enjoyed by both the young and the young at heart.

A truly educational show and fantastic fun for the family.

Malcolm Galea and Joseph Zammit make an excellent pairing: Galea’s straight-faced presenter is charismatic without being patronising to an audience of mostly older children, whilst Zammit’s flamboyant contributions serve to liven up every step of our story. The dynamic between the two is that of enthusiastic child and weary teacher, a tried-and-tested combination that plays to these performers’ strengths throughout.

From the very first introduction it is clear that our narrators “disagree” over how best to go about this unorthodox history lesson, with Joseph favouring spangly costumes and musical numbers over Malcolm’s more straight-laced approach. Needless to say, this provokes a hilarious pantomime of unexpected props appearing, random bursts of song and even a reluctant ballerina performance from Malcolm himself. It’s a perfect storm of fun facts and barely-restrained silliness. Moments such as Zammit’s disco-dancing Genghis Khan stealing the centre-stage map thoroughly encapsulated the spirit of the show.

A lot of the past involves a lot of fighting and, naturally, a lot of dying. The wrestle between randomness and realism helps to provide an accurate picture of potentially upsetting events, such as the death of Joan of Arc or the trenches of World War One, without requiring too much of an emotional investment.

With so much information packed into such a relatively short time, I occasionally found it hard to keep up and there were a few lines that were lost or stumbled over. The aforementioned map could also have been better utilised with more detailed symbols or labels to help keep track of time (quite literally). However, thanks to a big dollop of physical humour, this is mostly not a problem in understanding the gist of the show, and when the lights come up for an immersive audience battle involving an inflatable beach ball, it’s the last thing on anyone’s mind.

This is a truly educational show and fantastic fun for the family. If you enjoy your history with a slice of silliness then this is not to be missed.

Reviews by Katie Rose

Pleasance Dome

Stardust

★★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

dressed.

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

And Before I Forget I Love You, I Love You

★★★★★
Summerhall

Achilles

★★★
Pleasance at EICC

The Lost Things

★★★
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows

Courtney Act: Under the Covers

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

How much do you know about European history? Doesn’t matter! This show tells you all you need to know... as well as some things you’re probably better off not knowing! Starting from the Bronze Age, this show runs headlong, and roughshod, through 5000 years of European history to give its young and not-so-young audiences a crazy, yet pretty accurate, overview of Europe's History – and how it came to be the continent it is today. Using increasingly silly costumes, wigs and accents, this is an interactive family adventure through time!