Last night I attended my first ever ‘Alternative Pantomime’ at the Belgrade Theatre. Billed as a ‘pun-filled night away from the kids’, the Belgrade promises an uplifting evening of christmassy comedy and thats exactly what you get.
Over the Top takes us back to a 1918 Coventry Music Hall in which we are celebrating the long awaited end of the First World War – the war to end all wars. Nick Walker’s inventive story sees each music hall act delve mysteriously into a perilous and farcical mission to rescue a fearless group of Suffragettes on the front line. Quite frankly, I didn’t have a clue what was going on for a good chunk of the play but that was to be expected and was duly noted by the cast on stage. By the end, all suddenly becomes crystal clear and a surprisingly touching and heartwarming backstory is revealed.
The small, all female cast jump between roles (and accents) as quick as lightening and they embody each personality spectacularly. With just the right amount of ridiculousness and enough puns to last till next Christmas, this feisty foursome keep the audience chucking all night long. I found Laura Tipper and Miriam Grace Edwards to be particularly outstanding.
Having had no idea what to expect I was pleasantly surprised by this charming festive treat. A light hearted and uplifting play with an unexpected and touching twist.
Over the Top will be at the Belgrade Theatre until 29th December 2018. For tickets and info click here!
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*Production Images by Robert Day