Its my second panto of the season and they just get better and better!!! This time I was headed to Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre for another helping of Cinderella. It seems that Cinderella is the show of the season in the Midlands this year but surprisingly, the two that I’ve seen have been very different!
One thing i’ve learnt about the Belgrade is that they sure know how to put on a pantomime. I loved absolutely everything about it, from start to finish it was pantomime perfection; the set, the acting, the jokes, the slapstick, the songs I LOVED IT ALL!! This panto was the epitome of light hearted family fun and I just loved it – did I say that already?
The loveable leading man Buttons was played by Craig Hollingsworth and I couldn’t imagine anyone more suited to the role. Craig embodied panto – he was bursting with enthusiasm and his comic timing was spot on. One of the wonderful things about the Belgrade’s panto was the perfect balance between suitable for the kids but still fun for the adults. Craig nailed this and he really came to life alongside ugly stepsisters Iain Lachlan (also the very talented writer) and Greg Cowrie. Together, these three were a laugh a minute and most definitely stole the show. It felt so natural to watch – not forced fun – real genuine fun and you just can’t beat that.
The set, designed by Mark Walters, was without a doubt the most glittery I’ve ever seen and comprised a few magical wow-factor moments. There was of course lots of audience participation, both from the adults and kids. I particularly enjoyed watching the unfortunate young men chosen to be the Ugly Stepsisters boyfriends for the evening in their multiple stage appearances and of course the super cute kids bellringing section.
If you’re after a night full of good light hearted fun for every generation this is most definitely the place to be. I can’t recommend this panto highly enough. You’d be hard pressed to find a more entertaining evening than this and don’t be fooled by the star-studded alternatives. Celeb filled pantos easily turn into one/two man-shows. The real panto magic is happening in Coventry this year and you’d be a fool to miss it!