The York Realist Review

Crucible Theatre, Sheffield – until Saturday 7th April.  Reviewed by Judith Penrose

4****

The York Realist is set in Yorkshire in the 1960’s, Yorkshire agricultural worker Ben Batt, who plays George, meets a director from London, Jonathan Bailey who plays John, and they fall in love. Brian Fletcher who played Jack, George’s nephew was excellent in the production and was the youngest member of the cast.

The staging and lighting in the theatre was very captivating and there was a lot of dramatic pauses that were very well placed throughout the performance. The scenery drew you back in time and really set the scene, the main set was a Yorkshire farm house that made you feel you were part of the performance.

Lesley Nicol who played George and Barbara’s mother was excellent at playing an ageing old lady. She reminded me of great grand parents of this era. She found it quite difficult to accept that her son was not married and when the local girl in the village, Katie West who played Doreen, showed George attention, could not understand why he was not interested.

There was an under lying presence when Arthur, played by Matthew Wilson, and George were in the same room; as George confessed to John that he had a sexual encounter with Arthur before he married his sister Barbara.

Lucy Black who played Barbara gave you the impression that she had worked out her brothers sexuality and left you wondering what she really thought.

The play highlights and comes across the difficulties that people faced in this era with their sexuality.

Unfortunately George and John could not work out a solution of how they could continue their relationship after Georges mother dies and so went their separate ways.

I would highly recommend that everyone goes and enjoys this production to see this fabulous Cast.

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Bingo “A New Musical Comedy” Review

Gaiety Theatre Ayr  – 27th & 28th March 2018.  Reviewed by Linda McLaughlan

5*****

Laughter, sorrow, worries, fears, friendships, deceit and loyalty and losing a couple of digits (toe and finger)…… just your average night out at the Bingo …….Not!

The evening began when we met Daniella (Louise McCarthy) through song hoping that she would have some luck at her local Bingo Club. Then we are introduced to Donny (Darren Brownlie), Betty (Jane McCarry), Ruth (Jo Freer) and Mary (Wendy Seager).

Like all Bingo halls across the country the atmosphere is filled with excitement as the players hope to win big and change their day to day lives. Daniella is here with her best friend since childhood Ruth and we are soon introduced to Mary who appears and does nothing but belittle and criticise Daniella who is her daughter, although there appears to be a high level of disappointment and resentment in the relationship.

Ruth who is a new mum spends her time before the game starts, calling home to check on baby and tell off her husband who she believes is useless at looking after their child. Betty and her work partner get the evening off to a great start as they sell everyone their books and drinks from the bar. Although Ruth has a wee half bottle of vodka in her bag (as you do) to help cut the costs of the evening. Betty is excited as this is her last night before she jets off to Las Vegas with everyone present (except Mary) for her hen night.

Excitement and song gets the audience and cast in the mood for the upcoming celebrations………well almost everyone, Daniella is not excited and we soon discover why. The jokes and innuendos are classic comedy moments and the banter is what you experience if you have ever spent an evening in a Bingo hall especially a Glasgow Venue. Our final cast member to join the stage is Joanna (Barbara Rafferty) and not forgetting Henry (the Hoover).

I have not laughed so much in such a longtime and although the story of the lives of the cast takes a variety of turns throughout the evening, it is a show which has been so well written that everyone will walk away with a smile and a chuckle. I would highly recommend that everyone enjoys an evening at BINGO with this fantastic cast

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Ruthless! The Musical Review

Arts Theatre London- until June 22nd 2018.  Reviewed by Prachya van de Gevel
 
4**** 
Thoroughly entertaining with plenty of laughs presented by the acting talents of this superb cast.
 
Ruthless! The Musical, is a wonderfully entertaining evening out, with many laughs and punchy one liners. The musical centres around Tina Denmark, a little girl with dreams of being a star, whatever it takes… Her mother Judy Denmark along with her manager Sylvia St Croix maybe just might know a few thing about talent, and nothing will stand in the way of talent.
The costumes and sets are very fitting with the time, whilst there are only two main sets, it quickly disappears into the background as the strong cast of 6 takes the main stage.  Jason Gardiner as Sylvia St Croix recalls to me the theatrics from the many popular Drag Queens but not once does he break character and he sings with effortless energy, this was the first time I had seen him perform outside of being a television judge and this role really made his talents shine.
Tonight’s talented “ingenue” was played by Anya Evans in the role of Tina Denmark, terrifying at times with dark undertones this was reiterated by the dramatic sound effects, when the first F bomb drops it’s completely shocking but doesn’t even tip the iceberg of the shocking plot twists yet to come, but I won’t reveal any spoilers. Judy Denmark , Tina’s Mother is played by Kim Maresca, what starts as your “Stepford wife” soon becomes a bright star, I found her in the first act absolutely wonderful and her poise and grace a complete juxtaposition to the role that becomes her in the second act.
Harriet Thorpe as Myrna Thorn the school headmistress, living out her days as a washed up actress turned Headmistress attempting to reclaim her glory days is charming in her own way though not in too many scene she does command the stage and in my head no doubt the inspiration for the character of Madam Morrible from Wicked.
The supporting characters of Louise Lehrman / Eve played by Lara Dening fade slightly in the presence of the other characters on stage her turn as Tina’s rival and Judy’s assistant has its charm but when other characters are on stage we await with baited breath of their next move and are more drawn to them than to the characters Lara Dening portrays.
One of the standout performances of the show was Tracie Bennett as Lita Encore, Judy Denmark’s mother, every scene she is in she is always acting, I noticed that even in scenes where she has no lines whilst other characters are awaiting their next lines she is still there in full character reacting to the drama that is unfolding and for that reason she steals the scenes from the main characters as she always draws focus.
The whole production is slick and I was thoroughly entertained with a wonderful performance and many laughs I was left with no doubt how  “Ruthless!” show business can be.
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Son of a Preacher Man Review

Storyhouse, Chester – until Saturday 31st March 2018.  Reviewed by Julie Noller

5***** 

Son of a Preacher Man is a story of love and grief – a simple enough theme until you throw in the complexities of life. Based on a book and play written by Warner Brown and directed and staged by Craig Revel Horwood, who to the masses is famed as a judge on BBC1’s Strictly, so it’s only justified to expect a little campness and sometimes a little corniness but isn’t that what we love? It is difficult to single out a favourite actor, a favourite singer or even a favourite part of this extravaganza without constantly changing your mind because it’s fast paced and slick and you find all the characters so likeable. Then of course there’s Dusty, who doesn’t love the soulful 60’s icon that was Dusty Springfield?

We are introduced to our main characters each as different as the next, Alison a teacher recently widowed, Paul a man searching for his lost youth and Kat a teenager who has lost her Gran; her mother figure. They talk about a time in the 60’s when teenagers would frequent a local record shop in London, Paul remembers it well, the other two only through others memories. A decision is made by each in turn to travel to London on a pilgrimage, to see if they can find and perhaps meet the famed Preacher Man. As if miraculously they all arrive outside a building at the same time, it becomes apparent they share the same goal, to seek The Preacher Man.

What they find is The Double Shot, a coffee shop run by a reclusive and nervous man named Simon lovingly played by Nigel Richards, his flashes of humour and bumbling attitude in an attempt to help the three patrons albeit reluctanty earn him a place in the audiences heart. It soon becomes apparent he is infact the son of the preacher man, who doesn’t feel a song coming on? He introduces us to his three waitresses the glorious Cappuccino Sisters, whose presence on stage helps to give an old tale a modern feel, showing how the 60’s can still be enjoyed at any age.

Michele Long, Kate Hardisty and Cassiopeia Berkeley-Agyepong with their wild and wacky hair, makeup and costumes must have a party up on stage each and every performance.

So to love and grief; just what has brought them to London? Each shares their tale with little flashbacks of song and dance of course aided by Dusty. Paul (Michael Howe) a fun loving older man who muses over lost love during the 60’s a time when homosexuality wasn’t accepted as it is today. The dance shared by a young Paul and Jack is emotionally charged and moving. Kat (Alice Barlow) a young feisty teenager struggling over the loss of her Gran and facing homelessness, shows a little bit of a playful side and impetuousness of youth in her persuit of her Match.com man Mike (Liam Vincent-Kilbride) and finally Alison (Michelle Gayle) a teacher recently widowed and wondering about life on her own again, faces a real demon the taboo subject of love with a pupil a young A level student she had been tutoring.

Without a doubt each and every member of the cast can sing, my goosbumps had chills when those songs were belted out raising the roof on Storyhouse. I longed to get up on stage at times and join the party, sing and dance away. My fellow audience members were swaying and some even happily singing along, it brought a smile to my face. But you can’t, you need to keep track of the story unfolding, this tale of love will it be predictable, will Simon succeed in following in his fathers footsteps and bring our three the lives and love they so crave? Only Paul manages to secure the friendship of his lost love Jack, it’s sad to see what life could’ve been for them both. Will they be together no one knows but we can hope. The Son of a Preacher Man left me with a warm fuzzy glow, but the music left me buzzing. Michelle Gayle, Alice Barlow and Michael Howe are each electric and magnificent in bringing alive their characters not to mention spine-tingling singing performances. Alison and Simon becoming a couple is a real cheery moment, you love the connection between Kat and Liam who declares he doesn’t love his teacher anymore. Some of the dance routines may be a little bit naughty and cringy but you can’t help but laugh, it’s not malicious. Then at long last comes the ending we crave Son of a Preacher Man, we are encouraged to rise to our feet and join in. Of course that ensured a standing ovation but I’d have been stood on my feet applauding anyway.

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Gallowglass Review

Darlington Hippodrome – until 31 March 2018

2**

Middleground Theatre Company bring their world premier stage adaptation of Gallowglass to Darlington as part of their current UK tour.

Written by Ruth Rendell under the pen name of Barbara Vine, it had the potential to be a pretty good psychological thriller.  But at almost three hours long it’s rather an unwielding, convoluted saga with superfluous characters and dialogue. Although there was an interesting twist at the end which no one sees coming, but by that time its too late.

Sandor (Joe Eyre) stops Joe (Dean Smith) from throwing himself under and underground train, making for a strange friendship.  Sandor wants to kidnap Nina (Florence Cady), something he did once before when he lived in Italy and she was married to her first husband.  Now remarried and living in Suffolk she is nervous and afraid of being kidnapped again, so her husband Ralph (Richard Walsh), hires Paul Garnett (Paul Opacic) to drive her around and take care of her.  Paul is divorced with an eleven year old daughter, Jessica (Eva Sayer), of whom he has sole custody. The household staff is made up of Columbo (Matthew Wellman) the general handyman and his off stage wife Maria who we never see.

The story is helped along by a visit from Sandor’s mother Diane (Karen Drury) and by the arrival of Joe’s sister Tilly (Rachael Hart) who has some of the best lines in the whole performance.

Even though the show is very long, none of the characters are especially fleshed out, the dynamics of the relationships are missing.  Would you save a man from suicide and in the same day introduce him to your plan to kidnap a leading beauty?

The set was very impressive, with half being the flat of Joe and Sandor and half being the tied cottage of Garnett and his daughter.  Interesting use of projections onto backdrops was used for other scenes including the underground, railway stations, a country house and the seaside.

Gallowglass has great potential but would need a lot of the dialogue cutting to give us more twists and turns, to make it more breathtaking and gripping and to make us actually care about any of the characters involved

In Darlington until Saturday and on tour around the UK

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Grid Iron present world premiere of South Bend at Edinburgh Fringe 2018

Grid Iron in association with Platform present the world premiere of

South Bend 
By Martin McCormick
Directed by Ben Harrison
Foley Artistry by David Pollock

Video Design by Lewis den Hertog

Set & Costume Design by Claire Halleran

Cast: Martin McCormick and Jess Chanliau

 

On tour in Scotland July – Sept 2018 including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Previews      27 & 28 July                         Platform, Easterhouse
Performances       

              1 – 27 Aug                          Gilded Balloon at the Museum
31 Aug & 1 Sept                Byre Theatre, St Andrews
4 Sept                                  Paisley Arts Centre
7 – 8 Sept                           Eden Court Theatre, Inverness
11 – 12 Sept                        Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
14 – 15 Sept                       Cumbernauld Theatre
19 – 22 Sept                       Tron Theatre, Glasgow

In 2006 Martin McCormick flew across the Atlantic to be reunited with a woman he had fallen passionately in love with. But in the four months of their absence she had changed. Changed her hair colour. Her body shape, her address. And almost as soon as he’s arrived he’s on the road again, penniless and hallucinating.

South Bend muses on journeys, on the dusty road, on long-distance love dissolving into the pixilated blur of Skype, on the vast distances of the Atlantic Ocean and the American continent and of men and women separated by a common language.

 “Strangers would buy you drinks in bars because, ‘Hey, are you Scottish?  This guy’s Scottish!  Everyone!  EVERYONE! LISTEN UP!  This guy is Scottish.  That’s awesome, man. Lemme buy you a drink dude.  My last name is McDonnell!!”

“That’s actually Irish, but I’ll have a bottle of Corona thanks…”

Performed by Martin McCormick and Jess Chanliau, who plays all the other parts, and underscored by the live foley artist David Pollock, South Bend is a road movie for the stage – of hope, of love, of Eddie Izzard and an AIDS blanket. Of a small country and a vast one…of a good Samaritan and a relationship gone bad…

“Hilarious, full of pithy one-liners and simmering with menace… Pretty much as perfect as it gets” Across the Arts on Squash by Martin McCormick

“Grid Iron line up effortless, unpretentious, penetrating modern classics one after another” The Stage

 

Background:

Martin McCormick has previously worked with Grid Iron as an actor, first in 2008 in Yarn, its co-production with Dundee Rep and again in 2010 when his performance in its 10th anniversary remount of Decky Does a Bronco gained him a Best Actor nomination in The Stage awards. He has since become one of Scotland’s most exciting emerging playwrights and winner of Best New Play (CATS 2015 for Squash).

Grid Iron has a long track record of producing excellent and popular work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and is excited about performing in an actual venue for only the second time in its twenty-year Fringe history. While the script does not demand a site-specific presentation, the production style will resemble a TED talk, making the most of the lecture theatre feel of the Auditorium in the Museum and keeping a gentle sense of site-response while being very adaptable to other venues

Following its preview in Platform and run at the Fringe, South Bend will tour to The Byre, St Andrews; Paisley Arts Centre; Eden Court, Inverness; The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen finishing up in The Tron, Glasgow at the end of September.

Listing:

South Bend
By Martin McCormick

Presented by Grid Iron in association with Platform
Directed by Ben Harrison

Foley Artistry by David Pollock

Video Design by Lewis den Hertog

Set & Costume Design by Claire Halleran

Cast: Martin McCormick and Jess Chanliau

 

Previews      27 & 28 July  Platform, Easterhouse platform-online.co.uk/
Performances      

1 – 27 Aug               Gilded Balloon at the Museum – gildedballoon.co.uk
31 Aug & 1 Sept     Byre Theatre, St Andrews –
 byretheatre.com
4 Sept                       Paisley Arts Centre – boxoffice.renfrewshire.gov.uk
7 – 8 Sept                Eden Court Theatre, Inverness – 
eden-court.co.uk

11 – 12 Sept             Lemon Tree, Aberdeen –aberdeenperformingarts.com/venues/the-lemon-tree

14 – 15 Sept            Cumbernauld Theatre – cumbernauldtheatre.co.uk/

19 – 22 Sept            Tron Theatre, Glasgow – tron.co.uk

#SouthBendShow     @gridirontheatre

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The Tiger Who Came To Tea announces 2018 West End Summer Season

THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA CELEBRATES ITS 10TH ANNIVERSARY ON STAGE 
 
AND 50 YEARS OF BRITAIN’S BEST-LOVED PICTURE BOOK
 
WITH A WEST END SUMMER SEASON 
 
The Tiger Who Came to Tea
Piccadilly Theatre, London: 28 June – 9 September 2018
The Tiger Who Came to Tea today announces its return to the West End this summer for a very special season celebrating its 10th anniversary on stage and 50 years of Britain’s best-loved picture book. This truly magical Olivier Award nominated production will open at the Piccadilly Theatre on Thursday 28 June, playing until Sunday 9 September 2018. Tickets are now on sale.
Adapted and directed by David Wood OBE based on the classic tale by Judith Kerr OBE, The Tiger Who Came to Tea is the ideal introduction to theatre for children aged three plus and the perfect summer treat for the whole family.
When Sophie and her Mummy welcome the hungry Tiger to tea, he proceeds to eat all the sandwiches, buns, biscuits and more. He even manages to drink all the water in the tap! What will Sophie’s Daddy say when he gets home?
Join the Tiger, Sophie and her Mummy and Daddy, in this musical slice of teatime mayhem with sing-a-long songs, oodles of magic and interactive fun.
David Wood is undisputedly the country’s leading writer and director of plays and musicals for children, whose many successes include: The Gingerbread Man, Guess How Much I Love You, eight Roald Dahl adaptations including West End hits The BFG, The Witches and George’s Marvellous Medicine; and the Olivier Award winning Goodnight Mister Tom.  
 
The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her Mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don’t expect to see at the door is a big furry, stripy tiger!
The Tiger Who Came to Tea is a musical play adapted and directed by David Wood, based on the best-loved book by Judith Kerr, designed by Susie Caulcutt, movement director Emma Clayton and music arranger / supervisor Peter Pontzen. Casting to be announced. Produced by Nick Brooke Ltd.

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LEEDS GRAND THEATRE CALL OUT TO ASPIRING YOUNG ACTORS

LEEDS GRAND THEATRE: CALL OUT TO ASPIRING YOUNG ACTORS

Leeds Actors in Training (LAIT), a project being run in collaboration with Leeds Grand Theatre offering 18 to 25-year-olds a practical skills-building course for a career in theatre, is currently seeking budding young actors to join in April 2018.

Founded in October 2017 in response to a recognised lack of opportunity for young adults who want to develop their skills and move to the next phase of their training/professional life with confidence, LAIT gives young adults the opportunity to access actor-training of the highest quality with support and insight from professional directors, actors, movement specialists, vocal coaches and producers.

Delivered every Tuesday evening at Leeds Grand Theatre, new recruits will get the chance to work on several exciting projects, including a new production directed by Lizi Patch, Director, which is set to be performed at Seven Arts in July.

LAIT members David Fisher and Ellah Jackson had the following to say: “I can’t thank LAIT and Lizi enough for helping me to get into my dream drama school; the work we’ve done here is invaluable for building skills and confidence.” David was recently accepted by Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama, South London. Ellah, who recently beat hundreds of hopefuls to gain accreditation from The Creative Minds Group, Hollywood, to spend two weeks at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2018, added: “LAIT is an honest and open space where passionate young actors can develop their toolkit under expert guidance.”

 

Applicants will be invited to meet Patch and take part in an audition workshop before the new term starts on Tuesday 17 April.

For more information and to apply contact Maria Spadafora, Creative Engagement Manager, at maria.spadafora@leedsgrandtheatre.com

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THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY ANNOUNCES TWO RELAXED PERFORMANCES FOR MATILDA THE MUSICAL IN 2018

THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY ANNOUNCES TWO
RELAXED PERFORMANCES FOR MATILDA THE MUSICAL IN 2018

THE MULTI-AWARD WINNING MUSICAL WILL HAVE ITS FIFTH IN
THE WEST END ON 10 JUNE AND FIRST UK & IRELAND TOUR RELAXED PERFORMANCE AT BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME ON 19 JULY

Following the sold-out success of the previous relaxed performances of Matilda The Musicalthe Royal Shakespeare Company will present its fifth at the Cambridge Theatre at 3pm on Sunday 10 June. The UK and Ireland Tour of the show began performances earlier this month and will host its first relaxed performance at Birmingham Hippodrome at 2pm on Thursday 19 July.

Building on the programme of relaxed performances that the RSC has been running in Stratford-upon-Avon since 2013, the RSC is proud to have been amongst the first to adopt and promote the concept. The National Autistic Society and Mousetrap Theatre Projects will again work closely with the RSC, offering full access to the theatre for people with autism and learning disabilities and their families.

The performance provides a relaxed environment for everyone, with elements of the production adapted to reduce anxiety or stress, and with lighting and sound levels adjusted to soften their impact. Audience etiquette throughout the whole theatre is also relaxed with all audience members given the freedom to make noise and/or move about the auditorium according to their needs without restriction. Designated ‘chill-out’ areas are provided outside the auditorium with soft seating and activities available for people to use if they want to take a break.  All theatre staff, crew and company members also receive specialist training in advance to anticipate a wider range of different audience needs.

In London, the Royal Shakespeare Company is offering tickets at a reduced rate which can be booked through the RSC Ticket Hotline or in person at the Cambridge Theatre box office. Tickets for the Birmingham Hippodrome relaxed performance can be made through the box office ticket sales line.

Specially trained staff will be able to help bookers by speaking to them directly and ensuring that all their specific needs and requirements are taken into consideration when assigning their seat allocation.

All bookers will be sent a visual story to help them familiarise themselves with the plot, characters and the setting before they arrive at the theatre. Detailed event and transport information will also be available from www.matildathemusical.com.

Matilda The Musical is written by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, and direction by Matthew Warchus. The production is designed by Rob Howell, with choreography by Peter Darling, orchestrations, additional music and musical supervision by Christopher Nightingale, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker and the special effects and illusions are by Paul Kieve.

Matilda The Musical has now been seen by more than 7.7 million people worldwide, having played in over 60 cities with more than 5500 performances in the West End, on Broadway, across North America and in Australia and New Zealand.

Matilda The Musical swept the board at the 2012 Olivier Awards, with a record-breaking seven awards, and won four Tony Awards and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater for the four girls sharing the title role on Broadway. The North America production toured to 52 cities.

The Australian and New Zealand production won a Sydney Theatre Award for Best Musical in 2015, and played sold-out seasons in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Auckland. The show broke further records in July 2016 by winning all 13 Helpmann Awards for which it was nominated.Matilda The Musical will have its first non-English language production at the LG Arts Centre in Seoul, South Korea from September 2018 until February 2019.

Matilda The Musical is produced in the West End by the Royal Shakespeare Company with André Ptaszynski and Denise Wood as Executive Producers. The production was developed with the support of Company Dramaturg Jeanie O’Hare and the RSC Literary Department.

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CHRISTOPHER BIGGINS TO STAR IN BRADFORD’S HIGH-FLYING PANTOMIME ADVENTURE, ALADDIN!

A SECOND WISH GRANTED!
CHRISTOPHER BIGGINS TO STAR IN BRADFORD’S
HIGH-FLYING PANTOMIME ADVENTURE, ALADDIN!
Aladdin – Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
Saturday 8 December 2018 – Sunday 20 January 2019
*Tickets: from £15.50 (*inclusive of booking fees)
Now on sale: call the Box Office on 01274 432000 or visit bradford-theatres.co.uk

The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford have announced that that stage, screen and pantomime legend, the one-and-only Christopher Biggins will be joining Billy Pearce and leading the cast of this year’s Alhambra Theatre pantomime Aladdin from Saturday 8 December

A mainstay of entertainment for a number of decades, Biggins made his pantomime debut aged just 17 in his home town of Salisbury before forging a highly successful career in show business. Best known for his numerous iconic television appearances, Biggins appeared opposite the late Ronnie Barker in the iconic BBC sitcom Porridge, held roles in Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, appeared alongside Michael Crawford in Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em and played Nero in the critically acclaimed dramatisation of I, Claudius

Despite his serious roles, and never one to not entertain, Biggins is also known and well-loved for his hosting credits, including co-hosting Surprise, Surprise, On Safari, appearing on numerous celebrity specials and as King of the Jungle having won ITV’s I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! in 2007. On stage he has starred as The Baker in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, played Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar (a role he reprised for the film version where he starred alongside Donnie Osmond and Joan Collins), and the Baron in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in the West End. He also narrated the live stage tour of The Rocky Horror Show, based on the cult film in which he also appeared

It is pantomime for which Biggins is best-known and most-loved, entertaining thousands of festive theatregoers every year since he began his regular panto appearances in the mid-80s. From Glasgow to Plymouth, Biggins has donned a host of outrageous frocks and had audiences in stitches across the UK ever since, starring alongside the likes of David Hasselhoff, Patsy Kensit, Simon Callow, Bonnie Langford, Cannon and Ball and even Basil Brush. Biggins last performed in pantomime at the Alhambra Theatre thirty years ago alongside The Krankies. This year’s production of Aladdin marks his ninth trip to Old Peking where he will take up residence in the iconic laundry and star as Widow Twankey

Biggins joins Bradford pantomime royalty, Billy Pearce in his 20th Alhambra Theatre pantomime. As previously announced Billy will star alongside him as Wishee Washee in a production packed full of magic, mayhem and laughter. Recently Billy became the second ever recipient of the Welcome to Yorkshire Pride of Yorkshire award at their annual conference held at the Alhambra Theatre

Biggins says:
“I’m absolutely delighted to be bringing my Widow Twankey to the Alhambra this Christmas. I’ve been extremely blessed to have appeared in pretty much every major theatre in the country and I’m very honoured and excited to be coming back to pantomime in Bradford after a thirty year gap. Back then I starred with the Krankies, a wonderful pantomime act, and I’m thrilled to be starring alongside another one in the form of Alhambra stalwart Billy Peace who is nothing less than legendary. Playing his mother will, I’m certain, bring lots of fun and laughter to the production and I’m very much looking forward to spending Christmas with him and audiences from across Yorkshire.”

Speaking about the casting announcement, Adam Renton General Manager Bradford Theatres comments:
“There’s no doubt that this fantastic headline cast with the addition of Christopher Biggins sets Aladdin up to be another exceptional Alhambra Theatre pantomime. I’m sure that the region’s audiences will want to welcome Biggins back to Bradford thirty years after he was last here. There’s always something for everyone to get pleasure from at an Alhambra Theatre panto – theatregoers of all ages will thoroughly enjoy our outstanding festive entertainment this year.”

With further star casting to be announced, and record-breaking sales already achieved, audiences should hop aboard their flying carpets and point them towards the Alhambra Theatre Box Office to secure their seats for Bradford’s iconic family pantomime!

 

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