Belgrade Film and Digital presents its first ever online pantomime for Christmas 2020

Traditional panto performances have been postponed till 2021, but Christmas is far from cancelled in Coventry: this year, we’ll be hosting our first online pantomime.

Specially created in response to ongoing restrictions on indoor performances, Jack and the Beanstalk Online will be available to stream at home throughout December, or to watch via a series of socially distanced screenings at the Belgrade Theatre.

The show is written and directed by the Belgrade’s regular panto Dame Iain Lauchlan, who will also play a number of characters in the show, alongside his regular comedy co-star Craig Hollingsworth.

With a career spanning over 40 years in the children’s entertainment industry, Iain Lauchlan worked on BBC’s Playschool for eight years, as well as the very successful Fingermouse series, Playdays, Storytime and Fun Song Factory but is perhaps best known as the creator of the BAFTA-winning children’s television series, The Tweenies. Jack and the Beanstalk Online will be his 26th Belgrade Theatre pantomime.

Life has been turned upside-down in the bustling village of Prickly Bottom. As if the Covid 17 ½ lockdown wasn’t bad enough, the unhappy villagers are also being plagued by an outbreak of theft, thanks to an evil Giant and his horrible henchman Fleshcreep.

When they steal the enchanted harp that helps keep Prickly Bottom safe and prosperous, it’s up to lockdown layabout Jack Trott to save the day. But will he be able to turn over a new leaf in time to be the hero the village needs? Find out when this one-of-a-kind festive experience brings the magic of panto into the comfort of your home.

Jack and the Beanstalk Online is produced by Belgrade Film and Digital Ltd, an independent film production arm set up by the Belgrade Theatre Trust. The show is created and written by Iain Lauchlan. Production services are provided by Sugarswell Studios Ltd.

In addition to their online pantomime, the Belgrade will also be hosting socially distanced performances of Santa’s Christmas Rescue, the latest in Imagine Theatre’s Santa series, written by Iain Lauchlan for kids aged 2-7.

Normally staged in the Belgrade’s B2 studio, the show will this year be held on the Theatre’s Main Stage to allow for distanced seating. Filled with songs and laughter, this interactive, 35-minute show ends with a chance for little ones to receive a gift and speak to Santa or Ellie the Elf via TV link.

Jack and the Beanstalk Online will be available to stream at home from 1-31 December and Santa’s Christmas Rescue will run from 10-24 December. Please stay tuned for updates.