Histories of the Unexpected LIVE!
  • Exeter Phoenix, Bradninch Place, Gandy Street, Exeter, EX4 3LS

  • Calstock Arts, The Old Chapel, Sand Lane, Calstock PL18 9QX

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"We believe this is the way to get history to give you a buzz of excitement as you come to realise how everything links together in unexpected ways."

Join Dr Sam Willis and Professor James Daybell from the University of Plymouth on this brand new show that takes you on a journey of discovery tackling some of the greatest of historical themes – from the Tudors to the Second World War, from the Roman Empire to the Victorians. Histories of the Unexpected explores the past in way that you never dreamt possible.

In a show that emotionally engages as well as informs and entertains, discover how subjects link together in unexpected and rather magical ways: 

  • Why the history of the orange is all about Elizabethan spies and the gunpowder plot
  • How the history of windows is all about Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar
  • How the history of the beard is all about Brunel and the industrial revolution
  • Why the history of the scar is so important
  • How the history of monsters is so relevant today
  • Why the history of chimneys is both exciting and upsetting.

'We believe that the history of the itch, the history of crawling, the history of clouds, or of lightning or of zombies or zebras or holes or perfume or rubbish, all have fascinating histories of their own that can change the way that we think about the past…and the present.'

The show has been adapted for the stage by the award-winning playwright Daniel Jamieson, who has adapted the works of Charles Dickens, Graham Greene and Michael Morpurgo to critical acclaim. The show integrates sound, film and animation into an enthralling narrative presented by two of the UK's most gifted historical storytellers.

Running time - 1 hour plus Q&A and book signing). 

  • 3 October (Exeter Phoenix): start time 20:00. Book tickets via the Exeter Phoenix website or contact the Box Office on 01392 667080 for queries.
  • 12 October (Calstock Arts): start time 20:00 (doors open 19:00). Book tickets via the Calstock Arts website or contact 01726 879500 for any queries.
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