This year’s pantomime is led by an array of comedy, television and musical theatre stars - Billy Pearce, Darren Day, Charlie Hardwick, Jon Lee and Lucy Evans. Four local boys, William Campbell (from Cullingworth), Will Collier (from Rothwell), Theo Francis (from Embsay) and Leo McDonnell (from Horsforth) also joined the cast in the roles of Michael and John Darling following open auditions held at the Alhambra Theatre earlier in the year.
PETER PAN marks Billy Pearce’s 18th pantomime season at the Alhambra Theatre. The multi-award-winning comedian, who plays the role of Smee, has enjoyed a hugely successful career on television and on stage, and has previously worked with Darren Day in the musical Stand-up. Last year Billy was awarded Services to Arts and Entertainment at the Yorkshire Awards, previously won by the Kaiser Chiefs and Alan Ayckbourn.
Recording artist, musical theatre and television star Darren Day has appeared in countless musicals in the West End and on tour, and was nominated for a Best Actor award for his role as Gideon in the acclaimed London Production of The Last Session. He has appeared in numerous television programmes, and as a television actor, has enjoyed varied roles. Darren, who plays the villainous Captain Hook, is also known for his vocal impersonations, which form part of his solo show, Darren Day in Concert, which has toured the UK and internationally throughout 2016. Darren was a favourite housemate and finalist in the early 2016 series of Celebrity Big Brother.
Best known for her role as Val Pollard, Emmerdale favourite Charlie Hardwick, who plays the role of The Magical Mermaid, has been nominated six times for Best Comedy Performance at the British Soap Awards. In addition to her television work Charlie has also appeared in a number of films, and last year made her pantomime debut in Newcastle.
S Club 7 star Jon Lee plays the title role of Peter Pan. S Club 7 had millions of fans, four UK number one singles, recorded four studio albums and sold over 14 million albums worldwide. The band also won two BRIT awards, and toured the UK extensively. In 2015 the band reunited for a 12 date tour of the UK which saw all seven members together again performing their greatest hits to legions of their fans, both old and new. Most recently Jon led the cast of the 50’s musical Forever Plaid at the St James Theatre, London.
Also joining the cast is Lucy Evans who started her career at the age of eight appearing as Little Cosette in Les Miserables (Palace Theatre). Lucy has also been seen in Coronation Street in the role of Lauren Wilson.
If the all-star cast wasn’t enough, the production is also packed with an ensemble cast of performers and dancers, a live band and the traditional juvenile dance troupe, The Sunbeams, who appear on stage courtesy of Sara Packham’s Theatre School based in Cullingworth, Keighley; plus ground-breaking special effects once again take centre stage.
Over the past four years, audiences at the Alhambra Theatre pantomime have been treated to an array of show-stopping effects, created by The Twins FX. This year is no exception as real life twins, Gary and Paul Hardy-Brown, have created the biggest crocodile in panto-land! Also, an exciting 3D sequence will take audiences deep into the ocean on a magical underwater adventure. It was at the Alhambra Theatre ten years ago that pantomime producers, Qdos Entertainment, first featured ground-breaking 3D as part of their shows. Since then the wizardry behind 3D graphics has been made even more sophisticated to ensure audiences will be on the edge of their seats!
Be amongst the first to see the Alhambra Theatre’s swashbuckling pantomime – it’s a spectacular treat for the family this festive season! And if you don’t fancy doing the washing up, why not eat with us here at the Alhambra Theatre – you can book a table pre evening or post matinee show in the Alhambra Theatre’s Restaurant 1914 (children can eat for only £4.50!) – call Hospitality on 01274 431052.
The show is staged by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, and the company behind the theatre’s record-breaking productions at the Alhambra Theatre each year.