Former Eastenders favourites are now Looking Good Dead

Former Eastenders favourites are now Looking Good Dead

Just hours after picking up an abandoned USB stick on a train, Tom Bryce inadvertently becomes a witness to a vicious murder.

Reporting the crime to the police has disastrous consequences, thrusting this ordinary suburban household into chaos.

When Detective Superintendent Roy Grace becomes involved, he has his own demons to contend with, while he tries to crack the case in time to save the Bryce family’s lives.

Looking Good Dead, Peter James, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Based on the book by the multi-million number 1 best-selling author Peter James, the thrilling Roy Grace series has been transformed into a gripping on stage performance.

There are twists and turns aplenty and chilling scenes, but these are carefully off-set with well-balanced humour throughout to break some of the tension. – You couldn’t hear a pin drop for two hours!

The Bryce family are having problems. Father Tom (Adam Woodyatt) has over-extended his business to the point of bankruptcy. Stress pushes wife Kellie (Laurie Brett) into compulsively drinking, cleaning and spending and teenage son Max (Luke Ward-Wilkinson) plots to emulate his alienated half-brother and escape the family home as soon as possible.

If you’re an avid Eastenders fan, such as I, it can take a few minutes to get past the reunion of the former soap favourites Woodyatt and Brett (a.k.a Ian and Jane Beale) for what are altogether very different roles as the perfect warring middle class couple who get mixed up in a rather murky world. One can’t help but listen out for the ‘duff duffs’ at final curtain! (Only ‘Enders fan will get this.)

Looking Good Dead, Peter James, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

But their on-stage chemistry is one of the strengths of this production which is way darker than Walford could ever get. But the chilling scenes are carefully off-set with well-balanced humour throughout.

All these plus points are – just about – enough to help us come to terms with the gaping holes in the plot. That said, I didn’t see the main twist coming. But then I’m always the last one to know whodunnit in our house. Amateur sleuths with go home satisfied I’m sure.

All in all, definitely gripping immersive theatre worthy of your ticket price.

Looking Good Dead runs at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, until Saturday (12th March.) Tickets are available by phoning the Box Office on 024 7655 3055 (phone lines open 10:30am – 2pm, Mon – Sat), or visiting where tickets are even cheaper.

Childish entertainment – for all ages! (Review)

Childish entertainment – for all ages! (Review)

Belly laughs are very much in short supply these days. . .so a visit to Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre this week should definitely be on your calendar.

Mischief and mayhem are abound in the form of Groan Ups, a farcical story that follows an unruly classroom of six-year-olds as they journey through teenage life and into adulthood.

Groan Ups, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, review
Matt Cavendish (Simon), Lauren Samuels (Katie), Dharmesh Patel (Spencer), Daniel Abbott (Archie) & Yolanda Ovide (Moon). Photo credit Pamela Raith.

Written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields and directed by Kirsty Patrick Ward, Groan Ups is delighting local audiences after premiering in the West End in 2019 and follows sell-out runs of the company’s The Play That Goes Wrong, The Comedy About a Bank Robbery and Peter Pan Goes Wrong.

There is a wealth of hysterical material so easy to relate to for everyone who is a child, has children of their own or used to be a child!! Something for everyone then!

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Groan Ups, review
Yolanda Ovide (Moon) & Lauren Samuels (Katie). Photo credit Pamela Raith.

From playground spats to teenage crushes and dead hamsters (yes multiple!), there’s no let up to the anarchy and angst. But, like all true farces, the frenetic atmosphere builds throughout the show, but it’s not without its poignant scenes and, beneath it all, this is a comedy that asks real questions of us. – Do we choose who we become? Is the story of our lives already written? Do we ever really grow up? This is certainly a fun way to explore the answers.

The show’s co-writer Henry Lewis puts it best: “Groan Ups is about how life becomes more complex, how much (and sometimes how little!) things change over time, and about how events in our youth can change our lives forever. But at its heart, Groan Ups is a joyful comedy, finding its fun in the madness of childhood, the agonies of adolescence and all the ridiculous things we do when we all finally pretend to be adults.”

The small but perfectly formed cast of Groan UpsDaniel Abbott (Archie), Jamie Birkett (Chemise, Miss Murray), Matt Cavendish (Simon), Killian Macardle (Paul, Mr White), Yolanda Ovide (Moon), Dharmesh Patel (Spencer), and Lauren Samuels (Katie), pull off perfectly timed comedy throughout.

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Groan Ups, review
Daniel Abbott (Archie), Dharmesh Patel (Spencer) & Matt Cavendish (Simon). Photo credit Pamela Raith.

And the script’s attention to detail evokes childhood memories we have long buried. But as a mum of teenagers, it’s the middle segment that resonated most of all and I found myself laughing and maniacally nodding throughout! Teens themselves couldn’t fail to also find it funny however. They just may not admit it!

Groan Ups plays at The Belgrade Theatre until Saturday (March 5th). Tickets are available by phoning the Box Office on 024 7655 3055 (phone lines open 10:30am – 2pm, Mon – Sat), or visiting where tickets are even cheaper.

Casual sophistication at The Belgrade Café and Bar

Casual sophistication at The Belgrade Café and Bar


Nineteen58 cafe bar, Coventry, Belgrade Theatre

Last April The Belgrade Theatre in Coventry unveiled its new-look café bar.

Certainly where I’m concerned, this has been one of the city’s best kept secrets – and I do wonder how many others have also missed out. . .

Belgrade Café and the upstairs Nineteen58 bar is now the perfect complement to the city’s popular live arts venue and fast becoming a destination in its own right.



Previously occupied shops on Corporation Street have been taken over as part of this £5.5m redevelopment project which now offers both quality and quantity in hospitality terms.

Designed by Lazzeri Creative Interiors and inspired by the Theatre’s origins, the décor, by Corstorphine + Wright Architects, is decorated with vintage show posters and artwork from across the decades – a stylish and comfortable space from which to watch the world go by.

A shout out too to the friendly café team which plays a big part in creating such a convivial experience here.

Nineteen58 cafe bar, Coventry, Belgrade Theatre
Nineteen58 cafe bar, Coventry, Belgrade Theatre

The Menu, which is available from 11.30am-5pm every day, offers a good range of hot and cold dishes, from a selection of sandwiches, toasties, wraps and paninis through to jacket potatoes, soup and, for the more health conscious, Salad Bowls.

But be sure to also keep an eye on their Specials Board. The Hot Dishes of the Day – Cottage Pie and Vegetable Casserole went day a treat on a chilly February day for my friend and I.

If you missed breakfast, there’s also the option to grab some brunch. Choose from bacon or sausage sandwiches, smashed avocado on toast, filled croissants, teacake or granola.


Light bites can be purchased in the form of hot and cold snacks – including an irresistible range of sweet treats- and everything fairly competitively priced for the area.

I also noted what seemed to me like a wider than average range of vegetarian and vegan options on the menu – unlike, it has to be said, many other establishments I have frequented with veggie companions.

Whiling away, as we did, three hours on the upper floor of this charming, but sophisticated, café bar is easily done. And I’ll definitely be back soon to while away a few more.


Nineteen58 Belgrade Cafe

If they had a suggestion box I would be dropping in a polite note about extending opening hours to encourage the pre-theatre crowd. But, in the meantime, I’d say it was definitely worth a trip at any time of day. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, do try and check it out. You’ll soon be shouting encore.

You can check out all the shows coming up at The Belgrade Theatre here

More fun than you can shake – or throw – a stick at!

More fun than you can shake – or throw – a stick at!

Boom Battle Bar, Coventry, axe-throwing, crazier golf, shuffleboard, cocktails, American pool, augmented reality darts, beer pong

LET battle commence – a new concept in leisure and entertainment has arrived in Coventry.

The city has become home to the latest in the UK’s only Battle Bar franchise – a venue that combines a premium bar, food offering and competitive games – the likes of which you won’t have seen all under one roof before.

From American Pool and Electronic Beer Pong to Shuffleboard and Augmented Reality Darts, there’s also the chance to take in a round of so-called ’Crazier Golf’ (more on this later) and even. . . a spot of axe-throwing!

If, like me, you’re instantly horrified by the concept of axes and alcohol co-existing in the same space, fear not. The axe-throwing lanes are segregated and only available to those not ‘under the influence.’ An hour’s hire includes personal supervision and instruction. – Not that this helped my technique much! Turns out, chucking axes into a target is not in my skillset. It’s harder than it looks.

Great fun though – and where else can you partake in some indoor axe-throwing as part of a night out with friends and family? Great pre-curser to a hen or stag night or ice-breaker on a works night out.

My personal favourite of the activities was the shuffleboard table – as deceptively tricky as it is competitive.

The great concept of Battle Bar is also its fresh take on traditional games, including the ‘Crazier’ Golf course which delivers what it says on the tin. This short set of compact and quirky holes will test even the most experienced of mini-golfers (I include myself in that). Or maybe it’s so named as it has the potential to drive you crazy? Either way, it’s a ‘hole’ lot of fun. (Pun very much intended!)

And forget any notion of darts as you know it. Battle Bar’s Augmented Reality version adds a new dimension to your game through a series of new dart-based team games. All the fun and none of the mental arithmetic!

Battle Bar is undoubtedly an exciting new offering for families and friendship groups but, I sense, is set to be a particular favourite among the university students upon their return, especially as it’s over 18s only after 7pm when, no doubt, the venue will really come into its own.

Every activity is available to hire, in most cases, by the hour, but those who just want to enjoy a cocktail – or two – from the menu and soak up the vibe, are also welcome.

It’s not a destination of choice for diners however – but in fairness, nor does it profess to be. It’s an extremely limited menu offering here (if chicken wings aren’t your thing you’ll be left wanting) but was always designed more as a complement to the fun – because that’s what Battle Bar is predominantly all about – competitive fun with a capital F!

There are clearly a couple of early minor technical hitches that needed smoothing out, including one of the golf holes being out of action when we visited, but Coventry is lucky to have Boom Battle Bar – one of just a handful in the country. And in these uncertain times for the hospitality and leisure industries, it is particularly great to see it open its doors in Broadgate this month.

Why not check it out in the New Year? The perfect way to go into good-natured battle with your family and friends – and still come out laughing. (Well, I certainly hope so!)


Indian dining experience to surpass the rest (Review)

Indian dining experience to surpass the rest (Review)

My involvement in the recent Coventry & Warwickshire Foodie Awards brought me into closer contact with some of the best food and drink businesses and chefs in the region.

I have felt privileged to enter a world of exceptional culinary talent which has also has prompted a new list of must-visit destinations over the coming weeks and months.

Turmeric Gold, Coventry, Jay Alam

But the place to start was definitely a trip to the winner of the Restaurant of the Year category Turmeric Gold in Spon Street, Coventry.

As well as being a local gem, Turmeric has already earned lots of national and, even, international recognition since it opened 20 years ago. And my experience last week soon confirms why.

Located in a stunning 13th-century cottage in the heart of medieval Coventry, the restaurant more than lives up to its setting. The interior is decked out to resemble the authentic Indian dining experience and the friendly greeting at the door sets you up for what you immediately know is going to be a memorable experience.

Here, owner Jay Alam lives by his ethos that ‘food does not conform to the norm but challenges your taste buds and provokes the senses in exciting and sublime fashion. A labour of love and passion.’

Turmeric Gold, Coventry, Jay Alam
Turmeric Gold Railway Lamb & Aloo Bharta

Indeed, that passion radiates from every plate of food placed in front of us.

Set aside your previous notions of Indian restaurants because this venue raises the bar considerably. The Turmeric Gold experience (or should I say ‘Gold-standard’) fills a void I have only just realised exists – the opportunity to appreciate fine dining standards of Indian cuisine. Think taster menus as well as a la carte!

Three-way Chicken Jalfrezi

If you’re not a curry aficionado though, all the favourites are there – they’re just that cut above. There’s a particularly impressive vegetarian selection as well. If you are, however, a curry aficionado, you’re in for a real treat. If you’re relatively local to Coventry and haven’t yet visited, what are you waiting for? This place will deliver in abundance on food quality and will have you returning again and again.

But it’s also that attention to detail and those unique touches that help make this place so special, from the mango yoghurt appetiser through to an amuse-bouche selection which puts a cleanse on our palate as well as a smile on your face.

Turmeric Gold, Coventry, Jay Alam
Vegetarian Green Korma

Little wonder then that Turmeric Gold is the proud recipient of so many awards across the past two decades, recognising everything from food quality to service, ambience and overall experience.

Jay Alam said: “We have always taken pride in not only delivering the highest quality of service, but having the ability to evolve to ensure we meet the ever changing needs of our customers, but never losing sight of our commitment to providing the ultimate dining experience.”

Turmeric Gold, Coventry, Jay Alam
Our amuse bouche

There’s also an emphasis on creating healthy food and only minimum oils, colouring and salt is added to their dishes. Always good to know you are enjoying good food without too much of the indulgence factor!

A slightly higher priced menu is more than outweighed by the high quality of cuisine and overall experience and it is a winning choice for any special occasion.

Turmeric Gold is open Monday-Saturday between 5.30-10pm and Sunday 5.30-9.30pm. Takeaways are also available for delivery or collection via their website:

The restaurant’s website boldly claims that Turmeric Gold offers ‘a culinary experience not to be missed.’ I certainly wouldn’t disagree with that – and will soon be back.

  • I was gifted this experience but all views are honestly held and my own.

For more about Turmeric Gold’s win at The Coventry & Warwickshire Foodie Awards, click here

Turmeric Gold, Coventry, Jay Alam
Roaring Tiger House Special Biryani