Latest panto is the cat’s pyjamas!

PANTOMIME season is upon us and one of the best every year in my opinion is The Belgrade Theatre’s offering. And Puss in Boots has real welly.

In fact, the production’s first return to the Coventry stage since 1991, proves to be the purr-fect way of getting us all into the festive spirit.

It’s in no small part due to the talent of the show’s writer, director and Dame Iain Lauchlan who this year celebrates his landmark 25th Belgrade pantomime.

Peter Watts as Victor Grabbit and ensemble. Photo by Robert Day.

This thrilling adventure ‘tail’ follows the adventures of a crafty cat in fabulous footwear who rescues the village of Baggy Bottom on the Bog from the clutches of an evil ogre and his horrible henchman, Victor Grabbit.

Lauchlan is reunited with comedy co-star Craig Hollingsworth in the roles of miller’s wife Matilda Pudding and her would-be rap star son, Simon. The pair’s chemistry never fails to win over audiences – I don’t even mind the repetition of their refreshed scene sequences each year as they don’t stop being funny.

Joanna Thorne as Puss in Boots and Peter Watts as Victor Grabbit. Photo by Robert Day.

Joanna Thorne is back getting her claws into the role of Puss in Boots following her stint as the handsome prince in last year’s Sleeping Beauty and Peter Watts makes a suitably wicked panto villain as the Ogre’s henchman, Victor Grabbit.

The show is packed with amazing sets, crazy costumes, music, magic and so much more, plus a rather clever metamorphosing ogre to catch our attention later on. Intrigued?

And there’s a clever twist which proved effective in engaging even the older child (I dragged my 14-year-old along who ended up loving it) with the chance of a big screen appearance! A few people’s ‘ogre selfies’ tagged in to Hollingsworth’s Instagram alter ego rap character Baggy B, were shared to audiences in the second act – to riotous laughter and applause.

And the spectacular set was a fitting backdrop to the five star fun. Congratulations all round for another fun-packed festive hit.

Craig Hollingsworth, Iain Lauchlan and David Gillbrook. Photo by Robert Day.

Puss in Boots shows at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry until Saturday, 11th January. Tickets are available to book now by calling the box office on 024 7655 3055 or visiting www.belgrade.co.uk where prices are cheaper.

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