It’s just not Christmas without a trip to the Alhambra pantomime, is it?
Billy Pearce is back where he belongs in this scaled-back trip to pantoland. We follow a completely unique take on Sleeping Beauty as she waits for a handsome prince to help her break the evil Queen Carabosse’s curse.
Carabosse is played with the perfect amount of wickedness by Liz Ewig, supported brilliantly by the sulky Princess Narcissa. This story is all about the power of friendships and true love, and Narcissa’s loyalty to her friend Princess Aurora shows a great message for the little ones in the audience.
Dr Ranj is simply delightful as the Royal Physician. He provides a calm charisma with a dazzling smile that is almost as sparkling as the costumes!
Of course, as always, the star of the show is Billy Pearce. This year he’s playing King Billy – a kindhearted king who just wants the best for his daughter. Billy Pearce has his own very unique style of comedy, and it’s so wonderful to see him back at home on the Alhambra stage. As someone who’s seen him perform in the panto every year since I was tiny, it’s so much fun to guess which of his classic panto jokes are coming next!
This year, despite a few wow moments provided by The Twins FX, it all feels a bit minimal – and understandably so. It protects the cast, crew and audiences to keep things on a smaller scale and the magic isn’t lost thanks to a fab array of costumes, stunning sets and plenty of pyrotechnics. It’s certainly a show the whole family will love with plenty for kids to enjoy and find mesmerising.
The pantomime is definitely back but we’ll need to wait for next year for it to be bigger and better than ever! After the year we’ve all had, it’s truly amazing to be back in the Alhambra Theatre enjoying being around such positivity, laughs and joy.
Catch Sleeping Beauty at the Alhambra Theatre until 16th January 2022.
Photograph credited to Nigel Hillier