I don’t know about you, but I am definitely feeling the effects of winter! It’s a struggle to get out of bed sometimes isn’t it? Well, if you only have ONE outing this winter, make it the Belgrade Theatre pantomime. This year, they’re putting on Cinderella – and as always, it’s the best!
I’ve had a bit of a tough winter so far, so it was an absolute breath of fresh air to go out to the pantomime and be surrounded by such joy and fun. This year, they really switched up the tone in the best way, with the sisters playing metal-head rock lovers, bringing in songs like “Run to the Hills” and “Don’t Stop me now” which were definite crowd-pleasers. They modernised it really well with an incredible and hilarious adaptation of a Barbie movie song. I’ll let you guess which!
Buttons up, Buttons down!
As always, the costumes were absolutely on point. I love the extravagance and the drama of all the costumes, from the drag act dames to the young ensemble cast who give it all they’ve got! One thing I love about the panto is the gender-swapping – something that’s been going on since the 16th Century! Letitia Hector was absolutely stunning and talented as the prince, along with the handsome footman, Dandini (Loren Sunni) – they had charisma up to their ears!
Now to mention someone who I always look forward to seeing – Buttons (as he’s called this year) played once again by Craig Hollingsworth. Now with 11 pantos with the Belgrade under his belt, he warms up the crowd fantastically bringing joy and laughter to children and adults alike. I must mention, the innuendos this year were absolutely spot on.
Cinderella (Holly Topping) had an incredible singing voice and was absolutely beautiful! She played the character so well, and we were all rooting for her. We all know the pantomime isn’t usually about the titled character, but she captured us just as much as the comedy characters. I want to also give a MASSIVE shout out to Emma Mulkern, who played the fairy godmother, the evil stepmother, an old crone AND a doctor… all in one play! She’s a phenomenal actress – so much so that I actually didn’t realise she played both the evil and the good characters until the second half.
A Fairytale Ending to an Evening
I am always astounded at the production quality of the Belgrade Theatre’s pantomimes. The writing never fails to please, the jokes are absolutely cracking, the pacing is fantastic and the characters are hilarious and so well played. Ian McLaughlin (who plays the pantomime dame every year) absolutely slays every time. This time, playing ‘Flatula’ and joined by his ugly step-sister, ‘Aroma’ (Andy Hockley), they brought the house down. Twice the dames, double the fun! Everyone in the audience had an absolute ball.
So, if you’re in Coventry, Warwickshire… or anywhere in the world…! Make sure to make the trip to the Belgrade Theatre this winter to see Cinderella – you will laugh your socks off. The pantomime is running right through to January 13th 2024 and you can grab your tickets here.