Making History Exciting For Everyone


A major part of our mission at Histories of the Unexpected is to make history accessible and exciting for everyone. We want to engage people at all levels, helping them to understand the past in the present. Sam and James have worked with schools, community groups and festivals across the UK to bring history alive for young people. The live show has been specially designed to be accessible for all ages from 8 to 108, and has been used as a form of curriculum enrichment as well as by history departments to recruit pupils to the subject at GCSE and A-level.

If you are interested in working with us or would like us to work in your school please do get in touch on

Reviews From Schools

“I have never seen a history talk or event that is more suited for engaging a school audience… By challenging misconceptions about the past, making links across time and showing unceasing joy about the subject, Sam and James bring the past alive. I was so impressed at their use of props, humour and poignant details.”
Paul Griffin, Head of History, Stowe.

“Sam and James make History come alive in an entertaining and amusing way which appeals to children and adults alike.  Their witty and clever linking of concepts and themes across time is a creative and original way of helping children both to understand History but also life…and their place in it.  Superb stuff.” 
Charlotte Johnston, Head, St Peter’s Prep.

“History presented in a highly engaging and entertaining way that you could not fail but to enjoy and remember.”
Emma McKendrick, Headmistress, Downe House.

“Sam and James made History come alive. Their enthusiasm was infectious and the girls came out of the show absolutely buzzing.”
Will Lane, Head of History, Downe House.

“A fascinating, thought-provoking and often amusing historical journey with broad appeal for secondary school students and their teachers…it will grab the attention of even the most demanding teenage audience.”
Mark Brown, Head of Upper School, Whitgift.

Our pupils were enthralled…a truly memorable event appropriate for pupils across the age range. All left the auditorium with their enthusiasm for history  charged thanks to an engaging, fun and inquisitive way of looking at the past. The show delivers on all fronts and we can’t wait to have Sam and James back already! Harry Mackridge, Head of History, Shrewsbury School.

Thought provoking, interesting, amusing and very professionally presented. A show suitable for all age groups and ideal for school children with curiosity and who want to see history in a different way.  I highly recommend seeing it, and would like to see it again. Keith Smith, Head of History, Whitgift.

‘Histories of the Unexpected brought out so much joy & interest in the subject both for Whitgift pupils and those from nearby schools in Croydon. They all absolutely loved it.’ Jake Unwin, Second in Department of History, Whitgift.

“What a fantastic evening! Who knew you could explore so much fascinating history through a chain of seemingly unconnected objects? Thank you for an inspired romp through history. A brilliant way to enthuse the next generation of historians.”
Mrs Addersley, Head of History, Hele School Plymouth.

“Histories of the unexpected has enriched my teaching, allowing me to use those magic little pockets of history to engage all my students. It’s the most wonderful thing seeing students lean in slightly as you discuss how a perfumes smell from the 1800s has been recreated today. Even my Teaching Assistants listen intently when I recall on of the little stories from the book and show.”
Ms Ryall, Teacher of History and Politics, Poole High School.

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