Fun facts – what it takes to bring panto magically to life at the Alhambra Theatre!
The show stars Yorkshire’s king of comedy Billy Pearce as Jack, Strictly Come Dancing’s Lisa Riley as The Spirit of the Beans, Only Fools and Horses’ John Challis as Fleshcreep, and Jake Canuso in the role of Benny Dorm. Billy, Lisa, John and Jake are joined by established pantomime dame and musical theatre performer, Adam Stafford as Dame Trot and Sarah Vaughan, as Princess Apricot. Adam returns to the Alhambra Theatre after playing Dame Betty Blumenthal in last year’s panto.
In order to deliver this “five star” production (Yorkshire Post) packed with “spectacular special effects” (Telegraph & Argus) - in addition to the performers on stage - there is an army of backstage people, production crew and venue staff who work tirelessly during rehearsals and every performance to bring this magical show to life.
The annual Alhambra Theatre pantomime brings together the work of over 30 technical and production staff, 19 performers and 25 local children as The Sunbeams. Plus there are up to an additional 160 venue staff, including bars & catering, box office, cleaning, front of house and stage-door teams, who work to ensure the venue is ready to open its doors to the public during the run of pantomime.
Here’s a peak behind the scenes into what audiences might not know, and probably don’t see:
a total of 6 wagons transported the set, effects, lighting and sound equipment to the Alhambra

it took 23 backstage crew (14 Alhambra venue staff and 9 Qdos Entertainment staff) 3.5 days to build the set and light the show before the cast started to rehearse on stage

there were 80 sheets of special flooring put down on the Alhambra stage and 480 screws used to hold it in place

it takes 24 members of backstage crew to run each performance (15 venue staff and 9 Qdos staff)

1,168 pyrotechnics (special on-stage fireworks) are fired during the entire run of 73 pantomime performances

there is approximately 0.5 tonnes of scenery back-cloths flown for the show; with 40 flying cues forthe set changes in each performance, which is a total of 2,920 flying cues for the entire run

over 1000 Hot Fix sparkly stones are attached to the ‘Strictly’ dance outfits for Lisa and Jake

over 510 feathers are on the costumes; over 100 pairs of shoes are used in the show; and 511 pairs of false eyelashes are worn during the run

the washing machine will be used 168 times during the run; and each animal costume takes between 8 - 12 hours to dry

approximately 2,700 special 3D glasses are washed each day; and on average 3 people per week return their real spectacles instead of their 3D glasses at the end of the show!

170 boxes of merchandise were delivered the week before pantomime opened; the printers supplied 6,500 programmes; and approximately 22,000 ice creams are sold during the run

around 5,300 pints of beer and 8,500 glasses of pop are served during the run of pantomime - the most popular children's drink is the Panto Slush with average servings of around 900 per week

approximately 1,560 cups of coffee and 1,488 cups of tea per week are served during pantomime

nearly 3000 diners are served in Restaurant 1914 during the run of pantomime

there are 7 full size Christmas trees erected in the venue in December; the tallest one is 14 feet high and has over 500 lights on it

Ground-breaking special effects once again take centre stage in this year’s production. Over the past four years, audiences coming to the Alhambra
Theatre pantomime have been treated to an array of showstopping effects, created by The Twins FX. This year is no exception as real life twins, Gary and Paul Hardy-Brown, have created a towering, mighty beanstalk along with a very unique way of getting Jack to the top of it – a helicopter which flies over the heads of the audience below!
Unmissable 3D spectacle also returns to the Alhambra Theatre pantomime in the form of a journey through the Giant's castle, where the audience meet Giant Blunderbore himself! It was at the Alhambra Theatre nine years ago that pantomime producers, Qdos Entertainment, first featured ground-breaking 3D as part of their shows. Since then the technology behind 3D graphics has been made even more sophisticated to ensure audiences will be on the edge of their seats!
Adam Renton, General Manager Bradford Theatres comments:
“The sensational cast, combined with magnificent scenery, fabulous costumes, and the return of 3D special effects, guarantees that this year’s Alhambra Theatre pantomime has something for everyone to enjoy. The fact that around 80,000 people see the theatre's pantomime each year is
testimony to the huge affection Bradford audiences feel for the Alhambra festive show.”
Jack and the Beanstalk - Alhambra Theatre, Bradford – runs until Sunday 24 January 2016
Relaxed Performance on Tuesday 12 January 2016 at 2pm
- ENDS -

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