Sleeping Beauty at The Belgrade will have your kids in stitches

Sleeping Beauty at The Belgrade will have your kids in stitches

Postby dutchman » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:20 pm

"The five-year-old laughed so much he was a little bit sick"


The run up to Christmas means many things including festive adverts, desperate shopping trips and the will-it-won't-it saga of whether the Coca-Cola lorry will turn up in your city.

Fortunately it also means pantomimes and we're blessed with a group of people who do very good ones in Coventry.

The Belgrade Theatre has always had a stellar reputation for putting on a stunning pantomime.

This year's show is Sleeping Beauty and features many faces Coventry panto fans will recognise.

But does the show live up to the Belgrade Theatre's reputation? And crucially how would it go down with the most important critics, my sons aged two and five?

It doesn't take long for Sleeping Beauty to get into its stride with Anna Mitcham, as Azurial, and Craig Hollingsworth, as Muddles the Jester, taking centre stage for a breathless, brilliant, hilarious first few minutes.

Hollingsworth, as ever, is the heartbeat of a show that never slows down from the first scene.

It truly is laugh a minute for adults and kids, with a brilliant script complimented by a cast who are just as comfortable ad-libbing as they are reading their lines.

Written and directed by Iain Lauchlan he, as Nanny Fanny McWheeze, and Hollingsworth bounce off each as comfortably as you would expect two performers who have frequently shared the Belgrade Theatre stage.

Lauchlan's laugh alone had my five-year-old in fits of giggles, and he laughs a lot as the entire cast are clearly enjoying themselves. Even the tricky set piece performances, and there are a few, are performed with a smile, a laugh and a moan that they'll have to do them another 64 times.

The traditional panto tropes are there too, with Holllingsworth facing a cake-related foam disaster, and at least one scene that will have every kid shouting 'he's behind you' at the top of their lungs.

What's truly exciting about this performance though isn't the excellent script and hilarious performances, it's the moments that take it beyond last year's brilliant panto.

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