Christmas came early yesterday in Bradford when comic and panto favourite Billy Pearce (King Billy), TV doctor and presenter Dr Ranj (The Royal Doctor), Liz Ewing (Carabosse), Brogan McFarlane (Princess Aurora) and Sabrina Aloueche (The Good Fairy) met outside the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford to launch Yorkshire’s biggest panto.
Billy Pearce first topped the bill of the Alhambra Theatre’s annual festive production in 1993, winning acclaim from critics and audience members alike, solidifying his reputation as the King of Yorkshire comedy. He has performed in five Children’s Royal Variety Performances and three Royal Variety Performances. His previous theatre credits include The Rocky Horror Show and Eurobeat alongside Mel Giedroyc. Billy is a recipient of the Services to Arts and Entertainment award, presented at the Yorkshire Awards, previously won by the Kaiser Chiefs and Alan Ayckbourn. Side-splittingly funny, Billy will bring his trademark mad-cap comedy and boundless energy to the stage and will have audiences laughing in the aisles.
Dr Ranj is a well-known TV personality and has already had an impressive TV career to date! He is one of the resident doctors on ITV's leading daytime series This Morning, co-presenter of ITV's prime-time series Save Money: Good Health and Save Money: Lose Weight and co-creating host of BAFTA award-winning CBeebies series, Get Well Soon. In 2018 Ranj swapped his scrubs for sequins as a Strictly Come Dancing contestant, partnered with Janette Manrara. The dancing duo also took part in the Strictly Live Tour in 2019. He got to perform again on television, this time singing on ITV's hugely popular series All Star Musicals. Dr Ranj is delighted to be hitting the stage once again in his pantomime debut!
Liz Ewing is a Scottish television and theatre actress. Her London West End theatre work includes Follies (National Theatre), Gypsy (Savoy Theatre), Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Palace Theatre), Les Misérables (Palace Theatre), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Novello Theatre) and the international tour of I Dreamed a Dream. After an illustrious musical theatre career Liz has gone one to star in many TV productions including BBC’s The Nest and ITV’s Taggart.
Brogan McFarlane trained at Bird College and The Brit School. Her credits whilst training include dancer at The Brit Awards for Dua Lipa and Hugh Jackman and she starred as Maria in 9 to 5 The Musical.
Sabrina Aloueche is a musical theatre actress best known for her role as Scaramouche in the musical We Will Rock You and her roles as Young Cosette and Éponine in the London productions of Les Misérables.
Join Billy, Dr Ranj, Liz, Brogan and Sabrina in a magical adventure where Princess Aurora pricks her finger on an enchanted spinning wheel given to her by her evil godmother Carabosse and is placed under a cruel curse forcing her to sleep for one hundred years. Can true love survive and break the spell? Can Aurora’s hilarious father, King Billy, help save the town and who will outwit the evil Carabosse and foil her wicked plans?
Adam Renton General Manager Bradford Theatres said:
“The Alhambra Theatre’s spectacular pantomime is back this year to thrill the huge numbers of people who regularly visit as part of their festive celebration. The brilliant and hugely popular Billy Pearce will be back in panto-land this year alongside the talented Dr Ranj and of course our fantastic supporting company.
It’s now time to hopefully lift our spirits and enjoy the magnificent tradition of Pantomime at the Alhambra Theatre. We cannot wait to welcome customers back to share some festive magic, witness spectacular effects, laugh loudly and create some wonderful memories!”
Sleeping Beauty runs from Saturday 11 December 2021 to Sunday 16 January 2022 and is guaranteed to have all the fun, laughter, magic and special effects that audiences have come to expect from the Alhambra Theatre pantomime each festive season. Don’t get caught snoozing, book your tickets now!
You can download photos from yesterday’s launch event here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmWUYqsf