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Jack and The Beanstalk, Alhambra Theatre Bradford

Published by: GRAHAM CLARK on 31st Dec 2015 | View all blogs by GRAHAM CLARK

The Bradford pantomime is always seen to be one of the best in the north of England and this year's production is no exception.

Yorkshire comedian Billy Pearce as Jack makes his 17th Pantomime appearance at the Alhambra.  The show features him heavily and if you are a fan of him you will be in your element. The audience probably come to see him every year because they know that they can rely on him to make them laugh.

Also appearing is Lisa Riley who plays The Spirit of the Bean with a Yorkshire accent, all the children in the audience took to her and probably wanted her as a friend such was her down to earth and friendly nature.

John Challis from Only Fools and Horses brought some menace and authority to the role of Fleshcreep whilst from the TV series, Benidorm was barman Mateo who in real life is Jack Canuso who plays Benny-Dorm in this show. He is also an accomplished dancer and he is given the chance to show off his fancy footwork. It would have been nice to see some of the characters in the production interact more with Pearce more than they did.

Adam Stafford has played the Dame many times in panto and his experience in the role shows, he was funny and along with Billy Pearce they had some of the best one liners of the night.

Of course the jokes do have a local feel: "What is a herd of donkey's called?" is one of them, "Bradford City FC" comes the reply.

It would not be a panto without the cow, tonight it is Moo Moo who brings smiles to young and old. There are some amazing 3D effects with Pearce running through the Giant's castle and the Giant coming to life, it was so life like some of the children were hiding in their seats! 

A helicopter with Pearce piloting it flies literally over the heads of the audience in the stalls. It seemed very lifelike as did the giant beanstalk that grew from the side of the stage.

Sarah Vaughan plays a wistful Princess Apricot but her version of the Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars hit, Uptown Funk might not be as strong as the song you remember.

The Bradford Sunbeams from the Sara Packham Theatre School were charming, they are as much a part of the Bradford pantomime as Billy Pearce now is.

It is a polished show and the special effects are some of the best you will see in any pantomime in the UK.

The evening was a real tonic from the miserable weather outside and if you want to witness some enjoyable family entertainment this is just the medicine you need.


Runs until Sunday 24 January 2016, tickets available from:







1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 2 years ago
    Sounds like a great family show, Graham. Thanks
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