full cast


Belgrade Theatre


This year’s Belgrade pantomime, Cinderella, is as traditional as you like yet what I love about Iain Lauchlan’s approach is that he seems to throw away the rule book each year and start afresh. They are traditional and yet fresh and innovative.

It could have been slicker between scenes, it could have been easier to hear above the live band in parts, but, overall, it’s a joyous, enlivening evening of pure family entertainment.

The story is the same as ever. There’s so much to enjoy as Iain Lauchlan reprises the Dame – he is Dyspepsia, aka Pepsi, a really ugly Scottish sister, aided and abetted by Greg Powrie as Listeria, or Lizzie.

Buttons is so often the lynchpin of this story and Craig Hollingsworth, another regular, is brilliant, particularly with the children invited on to the stage at the end.

Cinderella (Alice Rose Fletcher) and Prince Charming (Bethany Brookes) provide the lovey side of the story very nicely. Maggie Robson is both the wicked stepmother and the fairy godmother – she is delightfully Cruella de Ville as the baddie and looked like she was enjoying the experience as much as we were.

If they gave out Nobel prizes for prop departments, Cinderella’s horse would be in with a chance – it was amazing! And I loved the messy section where Pepsi and Lizzie are getting ready for the ball, Buttons was the ‘fall’ guy here and not some poor, unsuspecting member of the audience.

The set was also supremely glittery and showy, and really impressed our Chinese houseguest who enjoyed the show immensely despite limited English and even less Scottish.

I found as I left the theatre that my thoughts had turned Scottish too; it lasted a couple of hours then I was back to normal. And my laugh has changed as well – that seems to be permanent so far. I laughed a lot – at the jokes, at the audacious costumes, at the glorious insults the Scottish sisters hurled at each other, but the moment I enjoyed the most was perhaps the oddest.

Miles Russell as musical director down in the pit seemed to be contributing some gloriously brassy moments, usually to a chorus of ‘Shut up’ from the stage but for one song he played blues trumpet so wonderfully and, for me, it simply stole the show. To 13-01-18

Jane Howard


Three generations of the Belgrade's panto family 

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