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BrumHour was invited to see Puss in Boots by Belgrade Theatre.
For Interval Theatre on Brum Radio, Dave Massey spoke to Iain Lauchlan and Craig Hollingsworth about their work with Puss in Boots.
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
Puss in Boots at
Written and Directed by Iain Lauchlan
Puss in Boots is at Belgrade Theatre in Coventry until 11th January 2020 and tells the story of miller’s son Simon Pudding (Craig Hollingsworth). After his father’s death, Simon and his mother Matilda (Iain Lauchlan) are told by King Colin (David Gilbrook) that they can live in the family’s mill for the rest of their days.
That is, until, a mysterious will is discovered by Victor Grabitt (Peter Watts) saying they can be evicted and the property can be used by Victor as an “Airbnb”. This is particularly surprising as Simon’s father couldn’t even write.
Good Fairy Flutterby (Aimee Bevan) appears and turns Simon’s cat into Puss in Boots (Joanna Thorne), Puss sets off to help Simon by wooing King Colin’s daughter Princess Sophia (Miriam Grace Edwards) and helping expose Victor’s fraud.
Filled with fun, cheeky performances by Iain Lauchlan as panto Dame Matilda, a solidly mean villain in Peter Watts who is dressed as an evil jester. This production gives Craig Hollingworth the chance to be a great leading man (normally played by a woman at Belgrade theatre), rather than the comedy sidekick.
The Belgrade Theatre’s panto is one of the most traditional family pantomimes in the midlands region and this year it looks more polished than ever. There are lots of jokes for the grown-ups too which will fly over the heads of anyone under 12.
I was worried the real story of Puss in Boots wouldn’t fill out the whole two hours and five minutes (plus interval), but in the more than capable hands of writer and director Iain Lauchlan, there are several plot elements added to flesh out the story. Simon deciding he wants to be an Instagram sensation as a rapper called Baggie B (instagram.com/baggybeee) was particularly fun. As was the video showing central Coventry as part of the story.
The costumes, set and lighting are wonderful and really utilise every inch of the space. Even allowing for an evil ogre transformation right before the audience’s eyes.
A great night out for the whole family with lots of audience involvement and even some cheeky non-scripted moments make this production loved by the audience who return year on year.
Puss in Boots is at Belgrade Theatre in Coventry until 11th January. Book tickets here: belgrade.co.uk/event/puss-in-boots
This isn’t a sponsored post.
When not writing about theatre for BrumHour, or producing Interval Theatre for Brum Radio (Tuesdays 3pm) brumradio.com/intervaltheatre,
Dave Massey can be found eating crisps and tweeting about Birmingham for #BrumHour.