Free Radio’s Original ‘Odd Couple’ JD & Roisin Land Role in Belgrade Christmas Panto!

Posted on 2 October 2015

Once upon a time…in the faraway kingdom of Coventry, there lived a handsome Prince called JD, who lived in a magical castle just beyond the ring road.

There he lived for many years, gazing happily into his magic mirror, until one day, he heard tell that the local theatre was looking for dashing Breakfast DJs (with great hair and impeccable grooming) to appear in their annual Christmas panto!

Armed with nothing but a can of hairspray and his finest pair of lucky pants, JD set off to fulfill his dreams. But little did he know that his long-suffering co-star Roisin had hatched a ‘beastly’ plot to bring JD’s dreams of stardom crashing down….

Will JD and Roisin learn to put their rivalries aside in time for opening night? Will good triumph over evil? Will JD escape the attentions of the amorous Dame Clarabelle Crumble and will Roisin ever make it out of her dressing room in time for Act 1?

After their triumphant appearance in Aladdin last year, Free Radio Breakfast presenters John Dalziel aka JD and Roisin McCourt will once again be donning the greasepaint and festive bloomers as guest stars of the Belgrade Theatre’s Christmas panto, running from Wed 25th Nov 2015 – Sat 9th Jan 2016.

No strangers to the ‘grisly’ world of show business, this year’s pantomime will see the stars of Free Radio Breakfast return to tread the boards for the third consecutive year running following two hilarious years of on-stage antics in Aladdin and Jack and the Beanstalk between 2012-2015.

Not content with just ONE night in the spotlight, this year will see JD and Roisin guest star in a grand total of three festive performances between December and January with tickets currently on sale via the Belgrade Theatre Box Office.

From palace guards to merciless mummies, JD and Roisin’s glittering panto career has seen them take on everything from evil henchmen to damsels in distress. So…what does their long-suffering Director Iain Lauchlan have in store for the dynamic duo this year?

‘The last three years have been quite the journey for JD and Roisin and this year promises to be their biggest challenge yet! After perfecting an impressive three lines of dialogue last year and only once exiting the stage mid-scene, I felt it was time to take JD & Roisin’s stage career to the next level! Whatever the outcome, it’s guaranteed to be a barrel of laughs….that is, if we manage to drag JD away from his magic mirror long enough to make it on stage!

Audiences can see JD & Roisin make their guest appearance in Beauty and the Beast on Wed 2nd Dec at 10.15am, Wednesday 23rd December at 7.00pm and Friday 8th January at 7.00pm.

Prepare for an evening of festive fun and frivolity as Beauty and the Beast takes to the Belgrade Main Stage from Wed 25 Nov 2015 – Sat 9 Jan 2016.

Following in the success of last year’s record-breaking production of Aladdin, Beauty and The Beast features all the hallmarks of a traditional Belgrade Theatre pantomime, spectacular scenery, incredible costumes, hilarious slapstick and plenty of audience participation.

This year’s festive extravaganza sees the return of Coventry panto legend Iain Lauchlan who will be donning the frock once again in the role of the irrepressible Dame Clarabelle Crumble. Iain holds legendary status in Coventry following 12 unforgettable years as Dame in Belgrade pantomimes between 1988 and 1999. Prior to Sleeping Beauty in 2012/13, Iain was last seen on the Belgrade stage in 2007 when he made a spectacular, one off return to play the Dame in Aladdin to celebrate the reopening of the theatre after its £14 million redevelopment project.

Over his 38 year career in the entertainment industry, Iain has worked on many dramas and television series including BBC’s Playschool for eight years; the very successful Fingermouse series; BBC Playdays, Storytime and Fun Song Factory but is perhaps best known for as the writer of the BAFTA award-winning children’s television series, The Tweenies.

Also returning to the Belgrade panto this Christmas in the role of is Craig Hollingsworth, who played the Dame Trott’s faithful sidekick and son Wishee Washee in Aladdin last year. Craig will be joined on stage by Jessica Niles in the role of Beauty and Charlie Bowyer as the Beast/Prince plus a full supporting cast which includes Gordon Watkins in the role of Maurice, Jenny Phillips as The Enchantress and Scott Blake as Dork.

Completing this year’s festive line-up are a talented cast of 24 local performers aged 9-16 who together make up the production’s three teams of pantomime chorus, Roses, Briars and Thorns. The 24 young performers successfully auditioned for a role in this year’s festive pantomime earlier this year following record turn outs attracting young talent from as far afield as Birmingham, Nuneaton and Tamworth.

Once upon a time in a land far away there was a handsome but selfish young prince. He fell foul of an evil sorceress and was doomed to spend the next 500 years hidden in his castle in the guise of a grotesque beast. Could anyone ever love such a beast and unlock the cruel spell?

Beauty and the Beast is written and directed by Iain Lauchlan. The Assistant Director is Paul Gibson. Costume and Set Design is by Mark Walters. Choreography is by Jenny Phillips. Lighting Design is by Pete Kramer.

Beauty and the Beast runs on the Belgrade’s Main Stage from Weds 25 Nov 2015 – Sat 9 Jan 2016. Tickets are priced from £14.50 – £23.00 with Family tickets available from £36. To book, call the Belgrade Theatre Box Office on 024 7655 3055 or visit the Belgrade Theatre website where tickets are cheaper. Tickets for this year’s festive extravaganza are currently flying off the shelves so audiences are advised to book early to avoid disappointment.