The Alhambra, Bradford (venue)
17 December 2019 (released)
19 December 2019
The Bradford Alhambra pantomime is the one that all other pantomimes are judged upon – it has a tradition of always being a slick, spectacular and stunning production – and this years show is no exception.
Yorkshire comedian Billy Pearce has become as synonymous with the Bradford Alhambra and the panto as much as Santa Claus is synonymous is with Christmas – making his 21st appearance at the Alhambra he arrives on stage riding a moped whose number plate just happens to be BP21!
His rapport with the audience is apparent and infectious throughout. “I’m Muddles this year” he jokes, it didn’t really matter as to many he will always be the star of the show.
Faye Tozer, best known for being a member of Steps and also her stint on Strictly Come Dancing played a very believable Queen Lucretia – she settled into her character with ease and nearly threatened to outshine Pearce. She is given plenty of opportunities to show off her dancing skills and there are plenty of references to Steps.
Paul Chuckle now sadly without brother Barry, played a comical Oddjob. The routines that he and Barry used to perform as The Chuckle Brothers, have been incorporated into the pantomime. But what do you do when your brother is not there to interact with you? Get Billy Pearce is become your new partner!
The years’ experience that the two have between them shone through with comic timing - the dress fitting scene had the younger members of the audience on the edge of their seats.
The 7 dwarfs are present as the Magnificent Seven though they are not as involved as much as you might expect.
Sarah Goggin as Princes Snow White was all sweetness and sugar whilst Matthew Croke as Prince William of Wakefield proved that he could sing as well as dance well.
With special effects including Pearce riding above the audience on his moped, a huge magic mirror and a giant dinosaur that roared across the stalls there was never a dull moment in this fine pantomime.
To prove that the show is not just for children 4 adults are invited on stage for a musical chair version of Goldilocks and the 3 bears – all good sports.
With the tradition of the young Bradford Sunbeams dancers being present, spectacular costumes and laughter all the way there is not a brighter funnier show in Yorkshire than the Bradford pantomime.
You will need your dancing shoes on for the finale though when there is a compilation of 3 Steps hit songs that include, of course, Tragedy. It would be a tragedy if you didn’t see this show. The Alhambra still has the fairest panto in the land!
Runs until Sunday 26th January 2020.