Gordon Southern is the goofy, charming British history teacher you’ve always wanted. He’s enthusiastic, swears a bit and probably wouldn’t mark you down if you wrote an essay on the other Michelangelo – the teenage mutant ninja turtle. Standing over the audience in a tiny room at The Forum, Southern attempts the seemingly impossible – the history of history in only a mere hour.
Southern plays the role of the teacher quite seriously, demanding we pay attention to a PowerPoint which will take us back in time, using pop culture references to make history fresh. Who would win in a fight between Hitler and Stalin?
With the aid of amusing keyboard sound effects, Southern adds a game show quality to the show and rewards audience members with gold stars for answering questions correctly. At times the show is overwhelming; Southern gives a glimpse into a contemporary history class in the future: jokes, puns, fun facts and fake facts “did you know Caesar invented the Caesar salad?”
Southern is a man of many tricks, the most impressive being his hilarious rapping skills. “Monks didn’t get ladies /everyone had the plague-ies.” Despite Southern’s energy some of the jokes are lost due to the room overheating and becoming a Bikram-like Comedy show.
Southern tries to make the most of a bad situation. He mops his face with a Chux wipe and tells the audience: “you’ll lose two kilos by the end of the show”. Unfortunately most of the audience were sluggish and clearly ready for hibernation. Southern is a likeable guy, he doesn’t depend on smut for a laugh and does a damn good job summing up the key points of history.
This show is recommended for all who missed out on the cool history teacher at school.