Reviewed by Tracey Stoker
If you are looking for somewhere to take the kids or just to treat yourself over Christmas and New Year period, then I can’t recommend this pantomime highly enough.
From the minute we walked up to the Alhambra, it was the start of a brilliant evening. My little boy loved the fact it was snowing outside the Alhambra (even if it was just pretend snow) and the huge sparklers going off on the Alhambra roof. And as soon as we stepped inside, there was the ‘main man himself’ Santa. Asking the children if they been good and posing for photos and chatting away to them. Santa really helped pass the time whilst we were waiting for the pantomime to start. This year, some of the pantomime is in 3D, so you need to collect your glasses from a box near the doors before you take your seat.
Then it began. Aladdin. The curtain went up and the show started. The stage was amazing, the scenery and props were first class. Well done to the production staff. Have to say the cast were fantastic. Yes, they were the big names that you knew and they didn’t disappoint.
Christopher Biggins was so comical as Widow Twankey. His outfits were amazing. We couldn’t stop laughing at each outfit was more outrageous than the last. Simon Webbe from ‘Blue’ was Aladdin and played the role brilliantly as he fought to get his princess. And then you have Billy Pearce as Wishee Washee but we will come back to him later. But the rest of cast who we didn’t know were just as good. Sarah Goggin played Princess Jasmine perfectly. What a voice! Her duets with Simon Webbe were superb. Carl Sanderson as Emperor Ming, David O’Mahony as Abanazar and Emily Beth Harrington as Scheherazade made up the rest of the cast and they were all fantastic. And then you had the ‘Yorkshire Genie’ of the lamp. Whoever thought up the idea of him coming from Yorkshire is a ‘genius’. His broad Yorkshire accent was so funny, my son couldn’t stop laughing at him.
But a pantomime at Bradford wouldn’t be a pantomime without the legend that is Billy Pearce. This year is his 20th year at the Alhambra and as always he didn’t disappoint. His skill at involving all of the audience is fantastic. From the ‘Oh no, he didn’t’ ‘Oh yes, he did’ saga to getting the kids to compete against the adults in a singing contest. He really knows how to work his audience. His jokes are sometimes so bad, that they are good and the laughter is always nonstop when he is on the stage. Let’s hope he doesn’t stop doing the panto. It Just wouldn’t be the same without ‘Billy’.
I wasn’t sure I would like the 3D section and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone thinking of going but it was amazing. You won’t be disappointed. Made myself and my son jump a few times but just added to the excitement of the evening.
All in all, a fantastic pantomime. Well worth the money. Roll on 2019, we will be back.
Have to give a quick mention about the Bradford Alhambra. We have been here many times to see shows and it is always amazing. It is ideally situated for transport links and car parking. Make sure you ask for a discounted car park ticket before you leave. The building is fully accessible for people with disabilities and the staff are so helpful and approachable. The building inside and out is beautiful. The Alhambra is a fantastic venue for an evening out.
Tickets cost from £15.50 to £40 (booking fees may apply).
Aladdin is at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford from 8 December 2018 to 20 January 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.bradford-theatres.co.uk or call the box office on 01274 432000.
Alhambra Theatre, Morley Street, Bradford, BD7 1AJ | 01274 432000