History literally comes to life in all its gory goodness in Horrible Histories: Live on Stage, a UK production heading to Australia that promises to teach children more about history in one hour than they learnt at school all year.
Inspired by the popular children's books by Terry Deary, the interactive, innovative show is the brainchild of the Birmingham Stage Company and combines live theatre with 3-D imagery and effects, which they've dubbed "Bogglevision", to give audiences a fun, educational glimpse into life - and death - as it was thousands of years ago.
Horrible Histories: Awful Egyptians hits His Majesty's Theatre as part of a national tour, with little audiences in for a horribly good time full of nasty nuggets and foul facts.
"Most of the time when you go to the theatre you sit safely in your seats," says Birmingham Stage Company actor-manager Neal Foster. "Our audience is not safe!
"We've found a very clever way to combine what happens on stage with 3-D technology.
"We have a 3-D video screen in the second half of the play, which takes the set out into the audience and things start coming out at them; mummies, pharaohs, ancient symbols, hieroglyphics, dust and even rocks. It's all very interactive.
"We were the first company to do it, we've being doing it for eight years now and as far as I know we're still the only one that does it."
Foster's theatre group has previously performed many more of Deary's Horrible Histories books, including Barmy Britain, Ruthless Romans and The Woeful Second World War.
"The books are perfect for being adapted to the stage," Foster muses.
"They combine that great thing of historical knowledge with being silly and rude and disgusting and naughty. So all those elements are a fabulous way of putting across your story to your audience. It brings history to life and makes it fun." Best suited to five-to-13-year- olds, the Horrible Histories stage show is not to be confused with the popular TV series of the same name which has run for five seasons on CBBC in the UK and ABC3 in Australia.
While Deary's books inspire both, the TV series is a sketch comedy for adults while the stage show plays more like an interactive pantomime for children and families.
In Awful Egyptians, two explorers discover a private room in a museum where all the best stuff is hidden. They uncover a statue of Ramesses the Great, whose spirit soon returns and tries to impose his rule on the characters - and the audience.
"Through that, we learn a lot about ancient Egypt, the traditions, what happened to them, how and why things were built and their belief in the afterlife. So we really bring ancient Egypt to life."
Awful Egyptians not only lifts the lid on Ramesses' crypt but also demystifies the Pharaohs, the pyramids, mummies and the afterlife with lots of gory rubber props, pranks and pratfalls.
Horrible Histories: Awful Egyptians is at His Majesty’s Theatre from January 3-10.