This year’s festive production is led by Alhambra Theatre pantomime legend Billy Pearce, Steps star and Strictly Come Dancing finalist Faye Tozer; and family TV favourite Paul Chuckle. They are joined by talented musical theatre performers: Sarah Goggin and Matthew Croke.
In order to deliver this “evening of non-stop entertainment and comedy” (Telegraph & Argus), full of “lavish sets and some impressive special effects” (The 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. Here’s a peek behind the scenes into what audiences might not know:
- a total of 6 wagons brought all the set, lighting, sound and special effects equipment to the Alhambra Theatre; including 50 flight cases just for the lighting equipment alone
- 15 Alhambra Theatre crew worked 12 hour days for 4 days to build the set and rig the lighting
- 256 lights are used to light this year’s panto; there are 485 lighting cues in each performance; which is a total of 34,435 for the run of panto
- 178 switches have to be turned on and off each day to activate the lights and sound; that’s a total number of 25,276 for the entire run of panto
- Paul Chuckle will have thrown 355 bags of Chocolate Buttons in to the audience over the run
- 140 tickets to the pantomime were sold on Christmas Day
- the moped that Billy rides on stage can actually go up to 40mph, has an MOT and is legally roadworthy
- a total of 213 goody bags and 284 bottles of Champagne will have been given away as prizes to our audience volunteers
- approximately 500 baubles decorate the Christmas trees in the venue; the largest bauble on the main tree in the foyer is half a metre wide, and the longest bauble is just under 1 metre long
- at the Alhambra Theatre restaurant 320 pictures have been coloured-in by diners of all ages from 2 (the youngest) to 74 (the oldest). Everyone who coloured-in a picture was offered a satsuma or an apple – strange that no one took a red apple…
- over 890,000 litres of soft drinks have been served between the start of the panto to the end of December; enough to fill at least two standard sized swimming pools!
- over 5,000 pints of beer have been served so far during the run of panto
- 5 litres of Windolene (other glass cleaners are available) are used each week to clean the Magic Mirror!
- 4 tons of dinosaur droppings are collected each week, the roses are doing well!
The annual Alhambra Theatre pantomime brings together the work of over 40 technical and production
staff, 20 performers and musicians; and 20 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.