Cinderella – Bradford Alhambra

AUDIENCES know what to expect at the Alhambra panto as Billy Pearce bounces onto the stage for the umpteenth year to play the cheeky chappie. And sure enough, he presents almost exactly the same jokes and musical call-and-respond routine we’ve seen him do in so many previous shows.

But that’s just the warm-up, along with the requisite bright and breezy opening number featuring dancers, Sunbeams and principal girl.. Over the next couple of hours there are plenty of new one-liners and killer comedy routines to keep us all convulsing with laughter.

Billy is aided with the comedy by ugly sisters Graham Hoadly and Jack Land Noble, and Shane Nolan as Dandini – with even Shane’s mum Coleen joining in the fun the Fairy Godmother. Coleen is a warm and witty presence – and delivers a real crowd-pleaser when the chorus join her for a rendition of Nolans hit In The Mood For Dancing.

The Alhambra stages Cinderella every three or four years, and just like previous productions there’s a new script which keeps the age-old story fresh, with Sarah Goggin and Sam Barrett this time in the romantic lead roles.

Along with the songs and dances, the show is sprinkled with excellent llusions, from Billy’s arrival on stage to a scary visit to the enchanted forest when we wear 3-D glasses. And, most impressively, Cinderella’s departure to the ball in a coach is highly original, truly magical, and will have little children gasping

* Unitil January 28. Visit or call 01274 432000 to book tickets.