History often seems long ago and far away, but Condensed Histories brings the joy of the subject into the here and now!
We all know that history is such an important subject in helping us all understand the world we live in. We also know that some students are less interested in the subject than we would all like. Wouldn't it be great to have a fun and yet educational way to get everyone excited about the subject?
My name is Greg Chapman, author of the ‘Condensed Histories’ books and shows, and a comedy performer with over six years of experience performing and writing shows for schools, and I have made it my goal to spread the love of history around.
Until last year most of my school based work (over two hundred and fifty shows per year for the last five years) has been in Italy working as a lead performer, writer and co-director with ‘Action Theatre in English’.Due to the success and growing popularity of my ‘Condensed Histories’ series I am spending more time performing in the UK. As a result, I am now able to bring more of my shows to primary schools in this country.
Covering topics from Key Stages One and Two, some of my most popular shows to date are:
Condensed Histories: GLADIATOR
The students enter the hall and are seated 'in the round' forming the edges of an arena, with the teachers take pride of place seated as the patrons of the arena games. A gladiator enters the arena to greet the public, and to tell them about the Roman world. As a slave from the far off isle of Britannia, the gladiator talks about the arrival of the Romans and the army of the Empire. He talks about Ancient Rome, and his being taken there to become a gladiator in the Colosseum. He finishes by talking about the arena games and performances that would be on display, from gladiatorial combat to filling the arena with water to have mock naval battles.
If schools want to enter even more into the event, it is easy (and basic instructions can be provided) to make simple 'tunics' to pull on over a school uniform, and the show can be transformed into an event as the students (and of course teachers if they wish) can arrive dressed as citizens of Rome. The students are taught to behave as an arena audience, and select groups are also brought into the arena during demonstrations of Roman Army's tactics and how these differ from the Celts and other 'barbarian' nations. The show culminates in one of the students getting the chance to take part in a ‘real’ gladiator contest. This show is all about bringing a little of Ancient Rome to life for the students.
Condensed Histories: VICTORIANS
In my ‘Steampunk’ costume, I take the students back to the Victorian era with the help of my puppet friends, as they find out what it was like to be a Chimney Sweep’s Apprentice, look at life under the reign of Queen Victoria, learn about the Industrial Revolution and more! Again it is easy for students to get into the part as they can wear simple Victorian outfits to attend the show if they wish. This show follows my ‘History Variety Show’ format, incorporating comedy, juggling and uni cycling as part of the show!
Condensed Histories: WORLD WAR ONE
We are now just over one hundred years since the First World War began. This show is an opportunity to introduce your students to the war in a way that is fun and entertaining, but at the same time explains exactly why we wear the Poppies, and why we remember the soldiers who fought and died in the war. It also takes time to look at a couple of great heroes of the war, including Cher Ami, one of the many animals decorated for bravery! This show follows my ‘History Variety Show’ format, mentioned above.
Condensed Histories: 100 Years(ish) of Change
This performance takes students on a whistle-stop tour of the 20th Century and into the 21st, with a fast paced comedy show creating an interactive timeline of some of the major events of the past century, giving students a grasp of the last hundred(ish) years that have led us to where we are today. This is by far the most interactive of the Condensed Histories shows to date. This show also follows my ‘History Variety Show’ format.
All of my shows use exciting storytelling, physical performance, juggling and comedy, as well as including a lot of audience participation.
Each performance lasts approximately 50-60 minutes, and depending on the time requirements within the school there is an option of up to 15 minutes for students to ask questions following the performance.
To get an idea of my performances and how they work, you can check out some of my history videos on my YouTube Channel at:
The full range of performances available along with some testimonials can be seen on my website:
At this time I am offering performances of my one man shows to primary schools for just £90 plus travel, for performances booked before the end of November 2015. This covers a performance for up to one hundred and fifty people, or you can get two performances in the same space in one day for just £150 plus travel!
To book any of the shows featured here or on my website, or for any more information, please do not hesitate to contact me via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07706 644538. (Performances are currently booking from September 2015 - July 2016.)
Many thanks for your time,
C/O Wight Haven
Isle of Wight