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REVIEW: Club2B

Mingle with Marilyn, Zeus and Lady Godiva in the Belgrade Theatre's new immersive jazz-age Club2B this Christmas.

On election night, what better way to distract from political drama than getting lost in an evening of immersive theatre, live jazz and finger food.

I’ve never seen so much fake fur, bling and sequins in the Belgrade foyer before a show – this audience is definitely dressed to impress. Inside, the B2 studio theatre space resembles a dark smoky, dimly-lit jazz-age cabaret club with round tables dotted around the room, where you can join actors at casino gaming tables.

The vibe is “Secret Cinema meets Berlin Cabaret Club and prohibition-era speakeasy nightclub”. Your table number is on your ticket, and virtually as soon as you’re seated a tasty plate of vegan or meaty snacks is brought to you. A cool live jazz trio – Jonathan Campbell (keys), Graham Campbell (drums) and Alicia Gardener-Trejo (sax and flute) – play an eclectic soundtrack from Billie Holiday’s God Bless the Child to Pure Imagination from the 1971 children’s film, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.

The show starts literally starts with a bang as fireworks light up the stage and thunderbolts sound-effects strike.

Corey Campbell gives a great, larger-than-life performance as enigmatic, quick-witted club owner Z, a 1920’s embodiment of ancient Greek god Zeus. Kicking off with an exuberant rap, we discover he’s in search of his estranged wife Hera – a soulful Iona Coburn in headphones.

Iona Coburn

Their tempestuous love-story is intertwined with a loose – occasionally confused – narrative featuring three real and fictional feisty female characters: Charis McRoberts as Coventry’s own Lady Godiva, Aimee Powell as Daisy Buchanan from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Meg Forgan’s Marilyn Monroe.

Iona Coburn, Aimee Powell and Charis McRoberts

Meg Forgan as Marilyn Monroe

Further cast member, Katy Anna-Southgate, is the club’s tap-dancing maître d’hôtel Mama D in a stylish electric blue suit, keeping it all together.

Katy Anna-Southgate’s Mama D

Strictly Arts’ Club2b blends video projection, spoken word, song, dance and physical theatre as this engaging ensemble move around the room and in-between tables.

The high-energy club vibe is festive, fun and up tempo; although it fizzles slightly towards the end with one too many slow songs. But stay behind for an awesome after-show party, mingle with the cast, play cards and enjoy this immersive theatrical party until late. It’s Chriiiistmas!

Club 2B runs at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, until New Year’s Eve. Tel the box office on 024 7655 3055, club2b

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