The curtain has risen on a new season of entertainment in Bradford.

The Telegraph & Argus can exclusively reveal that the glittering line-up includes Bob Geldof, Bill Wyman, David Essex, comics Stephen Merchant, Sarah Millican and singing trio The Soldiers.

A highlight of the autumn programme is Sister Act, the Broadway and West End musical produced by Whoopi Goldberg, starring Denise Black and Michael Starke Also coming to town is Calendar Girls, the hit play based on the Rylston and District WI ladies stripping off for charity, stars Rula Lenska, Jennifer Ellison and Joe McGann, and Keeler, a play about the Profumo scandal starring Paul Nicholas.

The new season of shows – at the Alhambra and St George’s Hall, and King’s Hall in Ilkley – starts in September with family musical Annie starring Su Pollard.

A Celebration Of Harold Pinter, directed by Hollywood star John Malkovich, sees actor Julian Sands combining Pinter’s poems and political prose to create an intimate new insight into his literary legacy.

For dance fans there’s Burn the Floor, capturing the drama, grace and athleticism of ballroom, Rhythm of the Dance with the Three Irish Tenors, and Cirque Du Ciel – Shanghi, combining modern dance, acrobatics and martial arts.

A series of shows marking the British Science Festival includes An Evening With Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Bang Goes The Theory Live. Children’s TV favourite Numberjacks comes to the stage, and the Rambert Dance Company returns.

There will be rib-tickling comedy from some of the nation’s hottest stand-ups, including Stephen Merchant, co-creator of TV’s The Office and Extras, Ed Byrne, Reginald D Hunter, Dave Gorman, Milton Jones and Ken Dodd.

Magic maestro Paul Daniels will be here with wife Debbie McGee, while Antiques Roadshow presenter Eric Knowles will cast his expertise on antiques brought by audience members.

EastEnders star David Essex brings his musical All The Fun of the Fair to town, while Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist The Circus of Horrors unveils a Halloween show.

There’s music from Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings, Jane McDonald, Jools Holland, Shakin’ Stevens, Kenny Ball And His Jazzmen, and the 60s Gold Tour with Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Searchers, The Fortunes and Chip Hawkes.

The season comes to a close in December, with Northern Ballet’s The Nutcracker, Bradford Festival Choral Society’s Family Christmas Spectacular and Alhambra panto Robin Hood, starring Billy Pearce.

Adam Renton, general manager of Bradford Theatres, said: “We are particularly proud to be involved with the British Science Festival.

“This is a major celebration for Bradford and some events will be hosted at our venues.

“St George’s Hall, which opened to classical concert-goers in 1853, has been recognised as the UK’s oldest operating concert hall.

“Bradford’s 146th international orchestral season opens in September with what we consider to be one of our most exciting seasons.”

Tickets for all shows are avaibale on (01274) 432000 or

  • Read more in Friday’s T&A