Horrible Histories is making a movie! What’s even more exciting is that it’s set in the Roman world of the 1st century CE.
Obviously, as researchers of the ancient world and fans of Horrible Histories, here at Ancient Herstories we’re a little bit giddy about it all.
Here are just a few reasons why:
- It’s set in Rome and Britain during the reign of the Emperor Nero
One of the so-called ‘bad emperors’, Nero (54-68 CE) is the Roman ruler we all love to hate. Flamboyant and lavish in his spending habits, Nero had a reputation for causing chaos in Rome and beyond. Some of his more fantastic (and probably fantastical) deeds include:
- Chillin’ whilst Rome burned – to be fair, in reality, he was probably more helpful than ancient sources suggest.
- Kicking his pregnant wife Poppaea Sabina to death.
- Forcing an enslaved person called Sporus, who looked like Sabina, to undergo a form of primitive gender reassignment surgery and take Sabina’s place in his household. We’re going to look at Sporus on Ancient Herstories at a later time.
- Plotting and eventually succeeding in killing his mother, Agrippina. A collapsible boat was involved in one of his schemes…
In other words, Nero was probably a deeply unpleasant individual, but monsters are always more fun to study than goody two-shoes.
2. Kate Nash as Boudicca
Nero’s reign also saw a revolt in Britain led by Boudicca of the Iceni (60/61 CE), a famously fearsome female warrior queen who led an army against the Roman occupiers and destroyed at least three Roman settlements.
Kate Nash is taking on the role of Boudicca. With her fabulous flame red hair and kickass moves from her recent work on Netflix’s GLOW (as Rhonda ‘Britannica’ Richardson), she’ll basically need to swap her wrestling leotard for some natural fibres and a bit of armour!
Obviously, we’re not going to miss covering Boudicca on Ancient Herstories – keep up to date with our work by subscribing through WordPress, or on social media.
3. Kim Cattrall as Agrippina
As an actress and a person, Cattrall appears to be highly capable, confident, and someone who doesn’t take any sh*t. Cattrall refused to make nice after years of being screwed over by the Sex and the City producers (who paid co-star Sarah Jessica Parker way more, despite Cattrall’s fearless portrayal of the sexually liberated Samantha Jones). Cattrall is playing Agrippina, Nero’s mother, an indomitable individual who schemed to place her ungrateful son on the throne.
We have no doubt that Cattrall will harness some of the fearlessness she shows in life and on the screen in playing one of the most complex and cunning women from the Roman world!
4. Derek Jacobi is the Emperor Claudius
Derek Jacobi played Claudius in the BBC’s adaptation of Robert Graves’ I, Claudius and Claudius the God (1976), and he’s going to play t. He was, is, and shall always be fabulous – need we say more?
5. We get to relive our childhoods
We were brought up reading and later watching the Horrible Histories series. It’s one of the reasons why this writer became an Ancient Historian – and why I can’t seem to leave school…