Panto legend to return to the Belgrade stage

02/07 Updated: 03/07 12:08

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Buy photos » Iain Lauchlan returns as the panto Dame in Sleeping Beauty (s)

BELGRADE panto legend Iain Lauchlan will not only be writing and directing this year’s production of Sleeping Beauty, he will also be donning a frock to reprise his role of panto Dame after an absence of five years.

Iain holds legendary status in the city following 12 unforgettable years as Dame in Belgrade pantomimes between 1988 and 1999.

He was last seen on the theatre's stage in 2007 when he made a spectacular, one off return in Aladdin to celebrate the reopening of the theatre after its £14million redevelopment project.

But he will be back in the frock again from November 28 to January 5, stepping in for Andy Hockley whose own 16-year run in the role has ended due to his appearance in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera.

"I feel so comfortable with the Coventry audiences, they have supported me over many years and don’t seem to forget me when I am not there," Iain said.

"I am really, really looking forward to playing Dame in Sleeping Beauty this year and catching up with old friends, thousands of them. I can’t wait."

The Christmas show is part of the new autumn season which includes new Marc Bolan musical 20th Century Boy (September 14 to 29) in the 35th anniversary of the iconic star’s death and BAFTA Award-winning, Coventry writer Geoff Thompson’s new drama Fragile (September 8 to 22).

This brutally compelling charts one man’s remarkable journey through traumatic abuse, self-discovery and ultimately redemption.

Coventry-based Highly Sprung theatre company will be back on stage to present their new show Child of Terror (October 8 to 10).

The season also includes a series of one night music and dance shows with the return of Eagles tribute band Talon (October 2), Abba Mania (October 3) and The Magic of Motown (October 4).

The House of Burlesque will bring their new show Shipwrecked to the Main Stage October 5) while 50 years of Jamaican independence will be celebrated with JA Story – The History of Jamaica Musical (October 6).

Other shows include the Official Agatha Christie Theatre Company returns with a stylish new production of the Queen of Crime’s classic thriller Murder on the Nile (October 8 to 13), Hit West End show Calendar Girls (October 15 to 20), Ike and Tina Turner musical Soul Sister, which comes to the Belgrade direct from London’s West End October 29 to November 3) while Moscow Ballet are returning with The Nutcracker (November 15 to 17).

A full programme and ticket details are online at belgrade.co.uk or by calling the box office on 7655 3055.

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Buy photos» Coventry writer Geoff Thompson’s new drama Fragile runs from September 8 to 22 (s)

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