WHAT better antidote to these uncertain times, than an evening with BBC historian Neil Oliver. With his reassured, laid-back nature, the genial Scot was in town to let us know that there was no need to panic (there are more Dad’s Army references in the show).

The message is that the British Isles has been through tumultuous times of change before and it’s all part of our national identity. From natural disasters to geographic and economic splits from Europe, these lands and inhabitants have seen it all many times over.

The live show of his latest book is a simple and intimate affair, just Neil, the audience and a PowerPoint presentation. The ancient and complex history of the British Isles are cleverly formed into 100 easy-to-digest and self-standing stories.

A monumental challenge for even the most talented historian, but in Neil’s hands it’s a fascinating ride through some of his most treasured locations and memories. His good-natured delivery sweeps the audience along with him and there are no moments of boredom.

In his own words, this is a love-letter to the British Isles. There are no tedious examples of general history to be found here, but instead many unique stories that draw upon his years of archaeology and research.

More importantly, Neil doesn’t restrain himself to the modern mainland of Britain. The biggest revelations of the evening come when he explains the significance of Orkney, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and many more now overlooked islands. By turning the map of Europe upside down, Neil deftly highlighted how these were once far greater areas of social-significance.

With so much information packed into a few short hours, the show never outstayed its welcome. By the final curtain, the audience stepped out into the night with a brighter outlook and appreciation of this fair land.