Bradford Alhambra's Aladdin panto special effects 'will be thrilling' pledge

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Gary and Paul Hardy-Brown, who are creating the special effects Gary and Paul Hardy-Brown, who are creating the special effects

Billy Pearce will be making his entrance on a flying carpet at this year’s Alhambra pantomime.

Other special effects announced for the show, Aladdin, include an 18ft-long talking cobra and a “monster-sized gorilla”.

Rehearsals got under way this week for the Christmas panto, which boasts spectacular visual effects produced by The Twins FX, regarded as one of the world’s leading companies in theatrical special effects, illusions and animatronics. B

illy will ride on a magic carpet that flies into the audience; using what is described as “revolver technology” it will rotate 360 degrees before delivering him to safety on the stage.

“It’s a very physical show this year, there’s a lot to learn in only ten days’ rehearsal. This morning I’ve been learning sword fighting and singing the Chinese national anthem to the tune of the Can Can!” said Billy, who is looking forward to his 15th panto at the Alhambra.

“The Alhambra is like a second home; I know everyone here now. I’m very touched at the reception I get here in Bradford. If it all stopped tomorrow I’d be happy with what I’ve done.”

Executive producer Michael Harrison said the show balanced special effects and panto traditions.

“Pantomime audiences increasingly expect big, impressive effects and each year we work hard to ensure there are some impressive ‘wow factors’ beyond the traditional pantomime magic,” he said.

Gary Hardy-Brown, of The Twins FX, added: “We pride ourselves on making the impossible possible. The carpet audiences will see in Bradford is one of our best effects yet.”

Starring alongside Billy in Aladdin, running at the Alhambra from December 14 to January 26, is former X Factor finalist Chico as the Genie of the lamp, pantomime dame and musical theatre actor Adam Stafford, whose West End credits include Chicago and Spamalot, as Widow Twankey, and Japanese-born singer, actor and musician Masashi Fujimoto. Tickets for Aladdin are available on (01274) 432000.

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