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Aladdin – Everything you could wish for in a panto

‘Everything you could wish for in a panto’ and I couldn’t agree more! Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas in Bradford without the comedy genius of the Alhambra’s festive pantomime and the iconic and brilliant Billy Pearce treading the boards delivering classic comedy at its best. Billy is a true panto legend and has been delivering quick wit and incredible warm charm to audiences over the last 25 years, with this production being Billy’s 20thouting in Bradford panto land and what better way to celebrate Christmas.  

This year we see Billy taking on the hilarious role of Wishee Washee in the magical adventure Aladdin joined by some very familiar faces. Simon Webbe, formally of chart topping boy band Blue, is the courageous Aladdin and together with his brother Wishee Washee they find more than one way to get into trouble. Who better to play their washer woman mother Widow Twankey than another comedy heavyweight and king of the jungle Christopher Biggins. These three together are absolutely fantastic, with one liners and hysterical comedy chemistry they completely steal the show. I’m so impressed with their ability, especially Billy Pearce, to remain in character when they have clearly gone off script to give that honest and amazing reaction to a joke that has most likely next been said before. Billy being the king of comedy always the ring leader and making each performance unique in his own special way.

The scene is set in Old Peking where Aladdin gazes on the beautiful Princess Jasmine (Sarah Goggin) in hope she will love him too. Her father the Emperor (Carl Sanderson) only wants a royal suiter for his daughter so Aladdin has a helping hand from the slave of the ring Scheherazade (Emily Beth Harrington). She uses her power to help Aladdin and Wishee Washee but the evil Abanazar (David O’Mahony) has other plans for the fated pair.

With the Sarah Packham Theatre School Sunbeams bringing sparkle to the stage the entire cast deliver a show stopping performance full of energy, laughs and undeniable adventure to entertain all. Deep down in the mystical cave of wonders where the lamp is hidden will the Genie save the day? Prepare to be amazed beyond belief and watch out for the magic carpet, you’ll have the ride of your life!  

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Matthew Jameson

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