THINK of Histories of the Unexpected as Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

For the uninitiated this game is based on the “six degrees of separation” concept, which posits that any two people on Earth are six or fewer acquaintance links apart.

Movie buffs challenge each other to find the shortest path between an arbitrary actor and prolific actor Kevin Bacon.

Histories of The Unexpected which you can hear in the Auditorium at the Octagon on October 27 as part of the Yeovil Literary Festival, explores the past in ways that you never dreamt possible.

It is a show that demonstrates how everything – and we really mean everything – has a history.

An unpredictable, absorbing and emotional rampage through the past, Histories Of The Unexpected is presented by the famous historical adventurer Dr Sam Willis, and James Daybell, Professor extraordinaire of early modern British history at Plymouth University.

They both do a podcast for Dan Snow’s HistoryHit as well as there own podcasts on similar subjects.

Speaking about what to expect in the show, James said: “This is the history of the unexpected. What we do is take everyday object and show how important they have been in the past.

“Take an orange. A Jesuit priest was tortured in the C16th. While in jail he was sent an orange by his friends.

“He used the flesh of the orange to bribe the guard, the peel he turned into a rosary, the paper it came wrapped in he kept and then used as writing paper. He used the juice as an invisible ink which he wrote on the paper.

“There is also the story of the paper-clip. Paper-clips were used by the Stasi, the East German Secret Police which clipped all its files on people together with paper-clips.

“When the Berlin Wall came down, there were puzzle women who put together all the shredded secret documents which people can now read.”

Tickets £12. Buy online at or call the box office on 01935 422884. Show starts at 2pm.

Events for Yeovil Literary Festival at