The Alhambra Theatre opened its doors for the very first time to the general public with a Variety show which ran for a week in March 1914. The show included a multitude of acts and also a Revue called A Year in the Hour. Performers included stars of pantomime, music hall, musical comedy, stand-up comedians, singers and acrobats.
On Saturday 20 September 2014, for one night only, Bradford Theatres will present a very special homage to the Alhambra Theatre's early days of Variety and subsequent long entertainment history. Stars of stage and screen will be part of the 100th birthday event, headed up by Michael Ball.
Michael Ball, Britain's leading musical theatre star, has won critical and public acclaim over the last 25 years with his dynamic, award-winning lead roles in the West End and on Broadway. And, with his concurrent career as a multi-platinum recording artist, top selling live concert performer and radio and television broadcaster, the Olivier-Award winning Ball has been, for many years, in the enviable position of combining these individual aspects of show business with continuing success.
Michael's many West End credits include originating the role of Marius (Les Misérables); Giorgio (Stephen Sondheim's Passion); Raoul (Phantom of the Opera); Alex (Aspects of Love, West End and Broadway); Caractacus Potts (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang); Count Fosco (Woman In White West End and Broadway); Edna Turnblad (Hairspray, West End and on tour) for which he won the 2008 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor In A Musical; and Sweeney Todd (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Chichester and West End) for which he won the 2013 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor In A Musical.
Michael is a hugely successful concert artist; he has performed many times in theatres and venues across the UK as well as Australia, the US and the Far East. His many television shows have included Michael Ball, An Evening With Michael Ball, The Michael Ball Show and, for BBC Radio 2, Ball Over Broadway, Michael Ball's Sunday Brunch, Sunday Night with Michael Ball (which currently airs between 7pm - 9pm every Sunday evening) and the 2012 six part series, Songwriting Partnerships.
In August 2007 Michael made his BBC Proms debut with An Evening With Michael Ball at the Royal Albert Hall which marked the first time a musical theatre star had been given a solo concert at the classical music festival. Michael also performed at the 10th anniversary concert of Les Miserables at the Royal Albert Hall and the show's 25th anniversary concert at the 02 Arena in 2010.
Michael co-presented the Olivier Awards in 2011 and 2012 with Imelda Staunton (who played Mrs Lovett to Michael's Sweeney Todd in the wildly successful Chichester and West End productions of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street).
This year Michael has continued to present Sunday Night with Michael Ball for BBC Radio 2 and has occasionally sat in for Ken Bruce; he has performed concerts in Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, Scandinavia, the UK and was awarded an Honorary Degree of the Arts from Plymouth University.
Michael will be joined on stage at the Alhambra Theatre by a glittering line-up of guests - further details to be announced in due course.
Adam Renton, General Manager Bradford Theatres comments:
"It's an honour for me to be general manager of this prestigious theatre in such a wonderful year. Having hosted two of the biggest touring shows coming to the Alhambra in 2014, Disney's The Lion King and National Theatre's War Horse, everyone at Bradford Theatres is now looking ahead to this special celebration to acknowledge this magnificent milestone. We want the 100th celebration to be hugely memorable and I'm delighted that Michael Ball has agreed to headline to make this so."