Beauty and the Beast review at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry – ‘sparkling’
Iain Lauchlan returns to Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre as writer, director and Dame Clarabelle Crumble in this festive favourite.
And he’s a dame to cherish. Waddling around in extravagant costumes ranging from a cocktail and a cake to the Eiffel Tower, screeching at the top of his voice and chuckling at his own jokes, Lauchlan is just classic panto.
He is given able support by Craig Hollingsworth, now a regular at the Belgrade panto, as Clarabelle’s son Willy (cue lots of sniggers). He’s so daft that the audience can’t help but love him.
There’s a spirited performance from Andrew Gordon Watkins who caricatures the super-ego Maurice, the man who every woman should love, and Jessica Niles is suitably heart-warming as Beauty.
This is panto with all the usual trimmings, from the audience participation to the cute children on stage, lots of double entendres and a smattering of song and dance numbers. But there are also a few surprises – not least a giant beastie dancing to Uptown Funk.
Designed by Mark Walters, the set is colourful, sparkling and versatile, taking us from the village to the forest to the Beast’s palace with ease. It makes for the perfect backdrop to this crowd-pleaser.
We need your help…
When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.
The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.
We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.
Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.