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BrumHour is invited to share about and review both homegrown and touring productions at Belgrade Theatre.
By Julie Wallis twitter.com/NiceNic63
Review: April in Paris at Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
Written by John Godber Directed by Richard Lewis
For the first time in 14 months, I was at the theatre last night!! At the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry seeing REAL actors perform live on stage and it was wonderful.
Joe Pasquale and Sarah Earnshaw star in April in Paris the newly refurbished Belgrade theatre.
April in Paris tells the story of Al and Bet. Their marriage is stale, their relationship has lost its spark, Al is just a bit boring. Even a night out to see an Abba tribute band is too much bother for him. Then Bet wins a romantic getaway to Paris. They take the overnight ferry from Hull and Bet finds her head turned by the prospect of a different way of life, a romantic, fun-filled, glamorous life is out there. A day of sightseeing in the most romantic city in the world and Al finds his love of art rekindled by the Mona Lisa.
This gentle comedy gets the first laughs in within the first sixty seconds of the curtain going up and maintains a steady stream of chuckles throughout. Nothing side-splitting, you will not choke on your popcorn but I promise you, you will leave the theatre feeling like a million dollars. This is feel-good theatre for a number of reasons:
Terrific acting from the two-man cast who bring to life Al and Bet and the authentic recreation of being tourists in Paris without the use of any significant staging, one of the only stage performances to be taking part in the UK outside of London and that lovely feeling of knowing you’re supporting the arts will all enhance your experience. Add to that a little bit of magic in the form of Joe Pasquale doing a painting right in front of your eyes followed by a collective gasp of appreciation from all of the audience and April in Paris is a stage show you’ll remember for a long while for all the right reasons.
Even though the stage sets are pretty minimalist, the acting really brings to life Al and Bets dreary life in their boxy new build home, the entire experience of being on the Hull to Zeebrugge ferry and even the romance, the food (and lavatories) of Paris.
I loved every moment of April in Paris last night and certainly felt very safe thanks to social distancing in every area, including in the auditorium. If you’ve missed live theatre as much as I have, this is a perfect first show of this year.
Book tickets to April in Paris which is at Belgrade Theatre until 19th May here: belgrade.co.uk/events/april-in-paris. The spring tour continues until 19th June currently visiting, New Theatre Hull, Pomegranate Theatre Chesterfield, Castle Theatre Wellingborough and Theatre Royal Nottingham.
This isn’t a sponsored post.
When not blogging theatre for #BrumHour, Julie Wallis can be found on her own blog at redandgoldweb.wordpress.com