The Bradford pantomime is always an absolute classic. Panto legend Billy Pearce has been delighting audiences year on year with his hilarious panto comedy with a perfect mix of slapstick for kids and in-jokes for the grownups.
And this year he’s back playing Muddles in a star-studded show. The plot of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a simple yet brilliant one – evil Queen wants rid of gorgeous step-daughter so she can have the Prince all to herself. But good will always win over evil and, with the help of the Magnificent Seven, Snow White does get her happy ever after.
The cast are cracking this year. Billy Pearce is yet again on top form as Muddles. This year Oddjob is played by Paul Chuckle, who is an absolute entertainment hero and the audience cheers at his very presence. It’s a slightly odd combo of comedy legends. They don’t try to work as a double act, but their individual turns are almost identical in style. They even have different catch phrases for the kids to shout out to greet them! Both are brilliant, though, and it’s just double the fun.
Faye Tozer, of Steps fame, plays Queen Lucretia. She’s a great singer and dancer, and interacts with the audience well. The Steps medley at the end of the show is a bit odd but I for one really enjoyed it! Sarah Goggin is a lovely Snow White, and her chemistry with Prince William Matthew Croke is strong. They make a lovely fairytale pair!
Overall it’s a really fun, high-quality panto. The special effects from Twin FX are astoundingly good. I’m not sure whether it’s all necessary. A short appearance from an animatronic T-Rex is a little random, but the kids all seem to love it. The production quality is particularly high, much better than any of the other local pantos I know of. It’s West End standard and a true credit to the Alhambra!
If you’re looking for the best panto in the land for family-friendly fun, don’t miss this one. Catch it at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford, until 26th January 2020.
Photograph credited to Nigel Hillier