In recent years some of the highlights of West Yorkshire's biggest pantomime have been the spectacular visual effects, created for producers Qdos Entertainment by The Twins FX, and this year is no exception.
Billed as ‘special effects consultants’ to the show, real-life twins Gary and Paul Hardy-Brown last year created a mechanism which sent Billy Pearce into a spin – literally, on a spectacular flying carpet, which rotated 360 degrees above the audience before flying at speed. The pair have been hard at work in their Dorset production workshop again ahead of this year’s show.
In one scene in this year’s pantomime, Muddles makes a rapid journey by car. Being pantomime, of course, it’s a flying car, which will travel over the heads of the audience below! The wicked Queen’s journey is made in far more sinister fashion, flying on an awesome giant Pterodactyl!
Talking about some of the illusions in store for Bradford audiences this year, the show’s Executive Producer Michael Harrison explains:
“Each year we have to work hard to beat the spectacle of the year before, so the effects become bigger and bolder. In this year’s pantomime as well as the flying car and Pterodactyl, we have also been training Billy for a very special trick which he will use to mark Snow White’s birthday… but in the spirit of surprise you’ll need to come along and see the show to find out how!”
“In creating the show it’s important that the effects add to the story as well as looking impressive, so we work hard to ensure that each illusion helps to move the plot forward.” Michael adds.
Speaking about the effects in the show Billy Pearce comments:
“Each year when I meet Michael to talk about the panto I am almost a little nervous about the ideas which will emerge, but it’s incredibly exciting to be part of such awe-inspiring moments in the production. During the rehearsals we spend a lot of time practicing the technical aspects of the illusions so that by the first performance it looks as slick and magical as The Twins had planned it to be. It takes a little practice, a little skill and right-lot of Yorkshire courage!”
The Alhambra Theatre pantomime brings together the work of over 30 technical and production staff and 20 performers, alongside children supplied by the local Sara Packham Theatre School.
Billy Pearce stars in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with X-Factor winner Joe McElderry at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford from Saturday 13 December 2014.