Review: Jack and the Beanstalk, Bradford Alhambra

Billy Pearce in Jack and the Beanstalk at Bradford Alhambra. CREDIT: Nigel Hillier.
Billy Pearce in Jack and the Beanstalk at Bradford Alhambra. CREDIT: Nigel Hillier.
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Just when you think it can’t possibly get any better Qdos Entertainment come up with a bigger, better and more spectacular pantomime.

Jack and the Beanstalk literally explodes on stage and is the ultimate pantomime entertainment with breathtaking sets, lavish costumes and totally amazing special effects.

But pantomime at The Alhambra would not be pantomime without its mainstay of 17 years Billy Pearce. “My name’s Jack this year”, he quips on his entrance. Hardly ever off stage his vitality and energy is totally amazing for someone well over bus pass age!

The audience love him and his own inimitable brand of humour appeals to everyone. Laced with local links, and the occasional cheeky innuendo for the adults, we have heard the jokes before but we still find them funny.

As Jack, Pearce shows he’s a master of pathos when he says goodbye to Moo-Moo and his animal friends in the cutest “skins” number I have ever seen in a pantomime and I’ve seen hundreds up and down the country.

Making the giant believable is always a mighty task but Qdos have excelled with a 3-D sequence that had even me screaming and ducking for cover as bats, skulls, maggots and all things horrible came at me in the stalls.

Sit-com and soap stars in panto can often disappoint. But John Chalice (Fleshcreep) proves he’s a powerful and talented character actor whilst Jake Canuso’s (Beni-Dorm) classical dance training makes him perfect as Lisa Riley’s (Spirit of the Beans) assistant.

With a great dame and feed for Pearce in Adam Stafford (Dame Trot) and a sweet and believable Princess Apricot (Sarah Vaughan) this is pantomime at its most spectacular. I just wonder how they will top it next year?

To 24 Jan.