From a classic pantomime to classic hits from the '80s, there's plenty to enjoy...
Cinderella, Lawrence Sheriff School Theatre, November 18 and 19
Rugby’s largest local youth theatre company, ASH Stage Productions, is making final preparations to kick start this year’s festive panto period as the team brings Cinderella to the Rugby stage. The pantomime tells the story of the downtrodden Cinderella, played by Rugby’s immensely talented songbird Anja Wyatt, who is forced to serve her jealous and terrible stepsisters and wicked stepmother. With best buddy Buttons and a magical Fairy Godmother and Grandmother on hand to help Cinderella along the way, she is certain to escape the misery of her dastardly diva sisters and find her true love. The production, which will be the company’s debut pantomime, follows a long string of successful musicals in the town including Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The pantomime has been written by local actor and writer Simon Burne, and has been directed and produced by Adam and Sam Holst of ASH Stage Productions. Sam said: “We have a superb and hilarious panto lined up for the folk of Rugby, and audiences both young and old are in for a real treat. We have a superbly talented cast behind us, and we are very proud of all of them and wish them all the very best for our first ever pantomime.”
Cinderella, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, November 22 to January 13
This year’s festive extravaganza will be double the fun, with not one but two dames sharing the stage in the role of the Ugly Sisters. Greg Powrie will join Iain Lauchlan in donning their tartan frocks and entertaining hundreds of families over the Christmas period. Returning for his 23rd pantomime, Iain Lauchlan has gained legendary status in Coventry as the Belgrade’s pantomime dame, as well as writing and directing the show.
Finding Joy, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, November 16 to 18
Vamos Theatre’s wordless production tells the true story of a teenager’s decision to care for his grandmother with dementia, with humour, poignancy, and warmth. Praised by everyone from The Guardian to Dementia Positive, Vamos’s critically acclaimed and award winning production has enjoyed two international sell-out tours. There will be a special dementia-friendly performance, too.
Shalamar, Copper Rooms, Warwick University, November 17
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the name Shalamar became synonymous with the contemporary sound of catchy dance music, with hits including I Can Make You Feel Good and A Night To Remember. Expect a night of hits and feel-good grooves.
Urban Folk Quartet, Warwick Arts Centre, November 18
Formed in 2009 in the West Midlands, The UFQ have continued to forge a reputation as one of the UK’s most consistently stunning live acts, and boast four highly accomplished musicians. The band promise a night of fiery folk.