You Beauts! Belgrade panto pair back with the slap
Beauty and The Beast, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, from November 24 through to January 5. By Barbara Goulden
You can't keep a good man down, which is why staff at The Belgrade Theatre are delighted to be welcoming back Coventry's favourite panto dame, Iain Lauchlan this Christmas. Iain's outrageous costumes and personal raport with local audiences have become a byword for frivolity in the city over the past few years - except for 2020 when Covid put a contagious cap on his frilly bonnet and invariably striped stockings. Instead Iain - who has come to recognise so many familiar faces among his regular audiences - was reduced to appearing only online. But now he's back with his very own live version of Beauty and The Beast - a panto that will run from November 24 right through to January 5. Once again Iain will be joined by his partner in mayhem, Craig Hollngsworth. Sumptuous sets are already being created by backroom staff at the theatre including a creepy castle where Belle becomes for Belle imprisoned as her terrifying beast does battle with his demons - even unlikely ones who arrive in the voluptuous shape of Dame Dolly Mixture. Iain Lauchlan said “I’m absolutely thrilled that this year we’ll be having a live pantomime on the stage at the Belgrade! After a year without live panto, we can finally get together and experience the magic of theatre again.” The Belgrade has gone back to filling into auditorium with full houses but for those who would still like to remain socially distanced there will be larger gaps between seats on November 24 and January 5. The performance on Weds 5 Jan will also be a Chilled Performance, with the auditorium doors remaining open and house lights dimmed and should be particularly good for panto lovers who suffer from autism or a degree of dementia. Tickets are already on sale at the Belgrade Box Office and can be booked by ringing 024 7655 3033 or visiting www.belegrade.co.uk where early prices are even cheaper.