The princess might be sleeping on the Belgrade Theatre’s Main Stage over Christmas, but there’s not much chance of snoozing in its B2 auditorium, with alternative panto Over The Top getting the holiday season off to an explosive start.
Fast becoming something of a festive institution for the city, this year’s alternative Belgrade pantomime marks the sixth such show created by local playwright Nick Walker, following the likes of Beauty and the Beast-inspired vampire spooktacular Vampomime, film noir spoof Private Dick Whittington and comedy crime caper Oh No It Isn’t!
This year, Walker offers a response to Sleeping Beauty in his own inimitable style, setting his latest show during the First World War.
The year is 1918, and the troops on the Western Front get a surprise visit from a group of fearless suffragettes who’ve come to perform a show to lift their spirits. But with bullets whizzing overhead and howitzers shaking the ground, the troupe get stuck behind enemy lines and a rescue mission is needed. Hashtag #FirstWorldWarProblems.
Luckily Sergeant Beauty is on hand, leading a crack team of daredevils to recover them. But with a perilous, pun-filled journey ahead, will any of them make it back to Blighty in time for Christmas?
Performed by a fabulous all-female cast full of familiar faces, Over the Top’s fearless band of suffragettes definitely have our vote, with Katy Stephens returning to direct her fourth B2 panto.
She’s not the only one with history here either: audiences will recognise Miriam Grace Edwards, Laura Tipper and Aimee Powell from performances in last year’s spaghetti Western-style The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Sisters, while Freeman star Kimisha Lewis completes the cast.
In addition to starring in Strictly Arts’ critically acclaimed Freeman, Coventry local Kimisha Lewis also recently performed in Open Theatre’s groundbreaking The Twisted Tale of Hansel and Gretel at the Belgrade and Birmingham Hippodrome. Other credits include 4×15 at Sheffield Crucible, Last Dream (On Earth) for the National Theatre of Scotland and Three Wise Monkeys for Bush Theatre and RBC).
Birmingham-based Aimee Powell has also recently appeared in Strictly Arts’ phenomenally successful Freeman. Other credits include Jump! We’ll Catch You and Feed The Beast at Birmingham REP and Night Light for Mandala Theatre.
Miriam Grace Edwards is thrilled to be spending her third Christmas in alternative panto at the Belgrade, where she has also performed in The Sisterhood, The Hundred Years’ War and Unplugged. As Associate Artist with Coventry’s Theatre Absolute, she has appeared in Breathe, People and Powder. Other credits include Brassed Off! at Wolverhampton Grand and Latherland at Shop Front Festival.
Hailing from the West Midlands, Laura Tipper has appeared in Person Birds for The Barbican, City of the Unexpected for National Theatre Wales and Wales Millennium Centre, the national tour Tinned Goods and Peer Gynt for The North Wall. She is also currently working with the Belgrade on an exciting new drama Under the Umbrella.
With suffragette-themed silliness and plenty of dramatic bombshells being dropped, this hilarious Christmas comedy is guaranteed to get you giggling.
When is the show and how do I get tickets?
Over the Top shows at the Belgrade Theatre 1-29 December.
Tickets are available to book now by calling the box office on 024 7655 3055 or visiting www.belgrade.co.uk where prices are even cheaper.
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