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Belgrade's online panto will be a Christmas cracker

The Belgrade's much-loved traditional panto may be off for this year, but Christmas is far from cancelled in Coventry: This year, the theatre will be hosting its first online panto.

Specially created in response to restrictions on indoor performances, Jack and the Beanstalk Online will be available to stream at home throughout December, or to watch via a series of socially-distanced screenings at the Belgrade.

The show is written and directed by the Belgrade’s regular panto Dame Iain Lauchlan, who will also play a number of characters in the show, alongside his regular comedy co-star Craig Hollingsworth.

Life has been turned upside-down in the bustling village of Prickly Bottom. As if the Covid 17½ lockdown wasn’t bad enough, the unhappy villagers are also being plagued by an outbreak of theft, thanks to an evil giant and his horrible sidekick Fleshcreep.

When they steal the enchanted harp that helps keep Prickly Bottom safe and prosperous, it’s up to lockdown layabout Jack Trott to save the day. But will he be able to turn over a new leaf in time to be the hero the village needs? We can all find out in the comfort of our own homes.

The Belgrade will also be hosting socially-distanced performances of Santa’s Christmas Rescue, the latest in Imagine Theatre’s Santa series, written by Iain Lauchlan for kids aged two to seven-year-olds.

Normally staged in the Belgrade’s B2, the show will this year be held on the main stage to allow for distanced seating. Filled with songs and laughter, this interactive, 35-minute show ends with a chance for little ones to receive a gift and speak to Santa or Ellie the Elf via TV link.

Jack and the Beanstalk Online will be available to stream at home from 1-31 December and Santa’s Christmas Rescue will run from 10-24 December.

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